I watched the film JFK, directed by Oliver Stone, 1991.
The movie, which takes place in New Orleans, is about an attorney general, Jim Garrison, who decides to reopen the case of the JFK assassination a few years after the event and the release of the Warren Commission. Garrison and his team spend years doing research, interviewing people who are suspected of being related to the case, and disproving the theories that the Warren Commission produced. They create new theories of who committed the crime and how they did it but in the end, Garrison loses his case but he is determined to keep fighting until he is able to obtain justice.
Most of what Garrison bases his work off of is what in the Warren Commission does not make sense. He uses this document to disprove itself and the theories that the American public has taken to accepting as fact. Using the events surrounding the JFK assassination including the investigation that followed, and exploring other possible conspiracies such as the magic bullet theory, the Warren Commission and Shaw as a participant, Oliver Stone exposes the idea that the American public does not have faith in its government agencies especially the FBI and CIA, while exploring the role that press plays in advancing this distrustful relationship through its sometimes unreliable facts. In my paper I will discuss the distrust that American’s have in the government, especially after tragic events like loosing the president, and how the media is able to influence the opinions of the majority of the public.
One way I will look at this is by discussing the role that people believe the CIA and FBI had in helping LBJ with the Kennedy assassination. In a poll done by Gallup in 2003, it was found that 20% of Americans believed that Johnson was involved in the assassination. The most common reasoning is that LBJ was afraid that he would not be re-selected as the running candidate in the 1964 election. Many researchers and critics of the Warren Report have accused Johnson of being involved in the assassination of JFK.
Another approach I will take is how American citizens felt about the government after the attacks on 9/11. There are still many conspiracies about that day and the role that the government played in those events. After the attacks on the Twin Towers on September 11th, 2001, many Americans began to question the government and its role in protecting and supporting its citizens.
The fact that Garrison felt that the case needed to be reopened shows his distrust in the government. With events happening everyday, most recently, the government shutdown, many polls have been done that have proven that the American people’s faith in their government is constantly decreasing. Most importantly, even today, people question the press and its connection to the government constantly. It is said that the media is controlled by the government and that they only publish what is desired for the public to know. There is supposed to be freedom of speech but do media sources really publish whatever they want? Why can the government withhold so much information from the public view if this is supposed to be a government of the people, for the people, by the people?