Oliver Stone's JFK Essay

Oliver Stone's JFK Essay

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Oliver Stone's JFK was a movie about the investigation by a district attorney, Jim Garrison, about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. JFK was one of the most controversial films of its time dealing with the decades-long debate about who actually killed President Kennedy. Was it done by the lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald and his magic bullet that pierced through the bodies of the two men creating seven wounds? Or was it the end result of a detailed scheme masterminded by the Mafia involving the U.S. government and military, the Cubans, and all other Kennedy-haters? Jim Garrison was determined to find out the truth of the assassination. He arrested and charged a man named Clay Shaw, who was a New Orleans businessman, because he, with the help of Lee Harvey Oswald and David Ferrie, was said to have conspired the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
In 1969, when Jim Garrison's Conspiracy-To-Kill-Kennedy trial collapsed, his entire case that the accused, Clay Shaw, had participated in an assassination plot turned out to be based on nothing more than the hypnotized- induced story of a single witness. This witness was Perry Raymond Russo who had testified that he had had no conscious memory of his own conspiracy story before he was drugged, hypnotized, and fed hypothetical circumstances about the plot that was supposed to have witnessed by Jim Garrison. This witness acknowledged that he could not separate fantasy from reality after this bizarre treatment. This resulted in a dismay of Garrison's supporters and the resign of three members of his staff. In the movie JFK, Garrison re-emerges as a man who brilliantly solves the mystery of the Kennedy Assassination. In this version, there was no hypnosis and the reborn ...


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...s at that time who have come of age. Perhaps no film in recent history has captured more attention and generated more controversial debate. This film resonates the feeling and question that common people had about the JFK assassination in the 60s. As a result, the debate about the validity of JFK extended much further into the war-torn cultural landscape of America in the 1990s than most observers noted. The JFK was a telling incident demonstrating the larger cultural conflict over values and meaning in America and the competition to define national identity. The whole affair demonstrated how effective a motion picture can be as a transmitter of knowledge, history, and culture. As a result, the debate about the validity of JFK extended much further into the war-torn cultural landscape of America in the 1990s than most observers have noted.

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