Parkland (15)

Directed by Peter Landesman
FACT, Liverpool
21st November 2013

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

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 on film.

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.

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