Story: While Oliver Stone’s interest in the assassination of John F. Kennedy is well known and documented, his documentary JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass dives deeper than ever and features a host of recently uncovered information. Stone presents a wealth of data and a wide panel of interview subjects, to examine not only the assassination itself, but the potential reasons behind it and what happened in the wake of his death. As he has done for decades, Stone returns the debate to the forefront of America’s cultural discussion and through this incredibly in depth look at the assassination, offers all the insights you can fit into about two hours.
Entertainment Value: I wasn’t surprised to see Oliver Stone return to the topic of JFK’s assassination, given that he directed the popular film JFK with Kevin Costner and consistent discussion on the topic, but I didn’t expect this level of depth here. JFK Revisited is a deep dive to say the least and for a two hour movie, is beyond packed with information. This documentary examines pretty much every aspect of the assassination and presents so many potential questions and theories, it can almost be overwhelming at times, though in a positive way. But if you want a light, casual approach to the topic, this certainly is not that kind of piece, quite the opposite. The movie doesn’t stretch out the bigger reveals either, instead we have a steady constant flow of information that compares the older theories against the more recently available materials, which help create some all new questions, of course.
The reason for all the newer information is because a wealth of documents have been declassified and made available to the public, likely the inspiration for this revisited documentary by Stone. He does devote time to the Warren Report and the methods used to investigate at the time, as well as the theories of that time, but a lot more time is spent weaving the new information in, to fill gaps and open new issues to look into. Some of the new information is compelling and would likely plant a seed of doubt in most minds, even ones dedicated to the original claims that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. The piece even looks at two other assassination plots that were learned about, which was quite creepy, given how similar they were to the Dallas incident. While there is a lot to take in and process here, JFK theory buffs both casual and devoted should find a lot to appreciate with this one.
The Disc: Shout Factory’s release includes a fantastic looking, high definition presentation of the documentary, with sharp visuals and rich details. Oliver Stone and writer James DiEugenio provide audio comments, while a second documentary is also included, the exhaustive four hour limited series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed. This is an even deeper look inside the assassination and the circumstances around it, expanding on the topics seen in JFK Revisited.
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