21st November 2013
In the glut of documentaries and films marking the 50th anniversary of
the assassination of JFK this is a run of the mill movie, which adds little
new to what we already know about the killing and who was behind it.
In fact director Alex Cox, who took part in a Q & A session after
the screening, described it as "bullshit", before even even
watching Parkland at the FACT, but instead had previously read the script.
The storyline adheres very closely to the account formulated by the Warren
commission - a mammoth 888 page report on the killing.
In this they stated there was no additional gunmen involved, other than
Lee Harvey Oswald, and no conspiracy.
Parkland's main focus, if you pardon the pun, is on Abraham Zapruder
(a miscast Paul Giamatti), who was the only one to capture the slaying
There are numerous flaws, it almost goes without saying, when dramatising
this event. It includes private conversations between Harvey's mum and
Lee's brother, Robert. The talks were not bugged so how can anyone know
what was said!
The name of Jack Ruby, who gunned down Oswald, was never mentioned, which
is a major omission, to say the least.
A further dubious aspect of Parkland was the almost pathetic attempts
by the medical staff at the hospital to revive Kennedy, who was clearly
dead. They noted the time to the minute when he died, but there is no
way he could still be alive en route to Parkland, having had half his
brain blown away in the car.
Visitors to the preview screening were given a complimentary copy of
'The President And The Provocateur', written by Cox, centred mainly on
the conspiracy theory surrounding the assassination. I am not sure why
he has spent his energies on this apparently insolvable tale.