How useful and reliable is the film JFK for historians studying the assassination? The film ‘JFK’, directed by Oliver Stone, explores the exploits of the heroic Jim Garrison and his controversial investigation into the assassination of the president John F. Kennedy in 1963. Oliver Stone’s film ‘JFK’ presents a particular view and interpretation of the circumstances surrounding the assassination. The film insinuates that there was a large conspiracy involving the CIA, FBI, the military-industrial complex, anti-Castro Cubans, the Dallas Police and the mafia. The film provides limited usefulness to a historian studying the assassination of the late President Kennedy. It is obvious to see that the film is biased towards the protagonist Jim Garrison. The whole film is shot through Garrison’s perspective and detailing his experiences throughout the investigation. Jim Garrison is played by renowned actor Kevin Costner. This automatically causes the audience to have a bias towards Jim Garrison as Costner’s previous acting roles have portrayed heroic characters such as his role as Robin Hood and Eliot Ness in ‘The Untouchables’, as the hero who prevails over evil and brings forth justice. This evident bias in the film limits its usefulness and makes it slightly reliable for historians studying the assassination. The main argument the film uses for the assassination of the president is that many people were against his plans to pull out of the Vietnam War effort. The film shows a scene in which sections of the US military-industrial and intelligence communities were hostile towards Kennedy’s decision to remove 1000 US military advisers (out of a total 16 000) and could have orchestrated the plan to assassinate the president. Though, this is not a factual meeting between these government officials and is just a hypothesis.
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