Parkland: A Film Surrounding JFK’s Assassination

    October 4, 2013

Did you know that John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald died in the same Dallas hospital? How about that the same doctor worked on both men?

The world was never the same after November 22, 1963, the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Since that time, we’ve heard a million conspiracy theories on who actually shot President Kennedy and we’ve rewatched the Zupruder film over and over again searching for some clue, perhaps for some explanation. There have also been numerous books, films and documentaries about that notorious day in American history.

Parkland Zapruder

Parkland Zapruder

The docudrama “Parkland” was released in theaters today. Instead of being about possible conspiracies or the life of JFK, the film takes a fresh take on the assassination. The “cool” moments of the film are the many reveals of the interesting seldom talked about facts, like the ones above. “Parkland” is an adaptation of the book written by Vincent Bugliosi called “Four Days in November” which is a second by second account of the assassination.

The film was written and directed by Peter Landesman who chose to concentrate on the mayhem and hysteria surrounding Kennedy’s murder. The movie takes a page from the renowned Kurosawa film “Rashomon” in that we see the story from multiple points of view. What was it like in the ER (the film is named after the hospital where they took the President after he was shot) when Kennedy arrived? How did the city of Dallas respond to the tragedy? How did the Oswald family react? How did Zapruder morally feel about selling his film? What was the personal sentiment of your everyday American citizen?

There is no central character in the film. But the list of Hollywood heavy weights is impressive. First off, it was produced by Tom Hanks. Billy Bob Thornton, Zac Effron, Paul Giamatti, Marcia Gay Harden, Colin Hanks and Ron Livingston all play secondary characters. The reviews have been tepid for the film, as the popular site gave the film a 47% on its famous Tomatometer. Betty Sharkey, the film critic from “The Los Angeles Times” felt that the film had its interesting moments despite its imperfections. She wrote in her review, “What you never doubt are the intentions, to illuminate the ordinary, to find a way to make a historical event newly indelible. Parkland succeeds as it fails. For whatever its flaws, it is unforgettable.”

Parkland Cast

Parkland Cast

“Parkland” can be seen in limited release. You can check out their website to see when and if the film is coming to a theater near you.

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