In this 90-minute documentary, director Robert Stone explores the many facets of this single event and the culture of paranoia ushered in by the political chaos of the late ’60s and early ’70s. With some compelling footage, Stone does a nice job of highlighting notable factoids about the various conspiracy theories, but they are exactly that: factoids.
While the JFK assassination is interesting enough, it’s a cliché topic with no fresh, significant material to offer and a dead story with a dwindling audience. Stone admittedly does a better job than most in helming the film, and the extensive archiving and research is commendable and shows through but again offers nothing new or insightful.
This reviewer could also have done without the opening sequence, featuring exploding, head-sized Jell-O molds and paint buckets.
Everyone loves a good mystery, and it’s for exactly this reason that the JFK fascination will never die. It will always be an enigma, but this doesn’t mean it will always constitute film material.
The world has been exposed to the tragedy itself, the ensuing feature length films, Kevin Costner’s shoddy acting and an assortment of TV movies and miniseries. If Robert Stone’s documentary was hoping to bring some sort of closure – whether factual or emotional – to the generation of witnesses, perhaps it’s best to just let it go.
Mr. President is resting in peace, so why not let the audience do the same?
Oswald’s Ghost releases in select theaters Dec. 7.