American Experience (1988– )
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Oswald's Ghost 


Robert Stone


Robert Stone


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Release Date:

14 January 2008 (USA) See more »

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Production Co:

WGBH See more »
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An interesting if odd film.
12 January 2014 | by runamokprodsSee all my reviews

"Oswald's Ghost" is about the conspiracy theories that arose around the Kennedy assassination, but it doesn't really go into any of those theories in great depth. It's more about the zeitgeist that first led Americans to go along unquestioningly with the Warren Commission's report on the assassination saying Oswald acted alone, and then, as the country grew ever more cynical about the government, and realized they were lying about and covering up what was going on in Vietnam and elsewhere the dial swung the other way and suddenly everybody had a theory about who had really killed Kennedy and why.

That's a pretty interesting premise, but the tendency to lump in the loony-tunes theories with those that raised some pretty striking questions about the hard evidence gets frustrating.

Some of the most compelling material is the amount of footage of Oswald after his arrest, doing a pretty good job of looking bewildered and confused by the whole thing, and repeatedly asking for legal representation for questioning (I wish the program would have stated if he was provided any before his death).

The film is never boring, but, in the end, I wasn't quite clear on what it was saying about the assassination and the theories around it, other than its meta-theory about the country's state of mind. For me, dismissing those who question the Commission's conclusions – even those who found some really troubling holes -- seems as unfair and simplistic as blindly assuming the Warren Commission knowingly covered up facts.

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