Monday, September 9, 2013

TIFF 2013: Parkland (Fair)

Parkland is another look at the Kennedy assassination, but rather than focusing on the headline events, it shows us the perspectives of those behind the scenes:
  • doctors and nurses at Parkland Hospital, where both Kennedy and Oswald were treated and died
  • FBI and secret service agents
  • Oswald's brother and mother
We're teased by the omission of a direct view of the key scene, seeing instead the reaction of Abraham Zapruder as he films it, and later seeing it only in the reflection of his glasses as he views the developed film. This emphasizes that this film is not directly about the event, but about how it affected those most directly touched by it. An interesting premise for a film, but for me that wasn't enough to sustain my interest very long. The characters were shallowly-drawn, and by the end I didn't really feel I had learned anything new of substance. And while I did not need to see the shot of the bullet's impact, or Jackie crawling over the trunk if the car to retrieve fragments, or even John Jr saluting the funeral procession, the omission of those canonical scenes turned out to be a distraction, because they are so deeply imprinted in my thoughts about this subject.

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