Watched JFK on DVD last night. An utterly splendid film with very high information compression, meaning you really have to pay attention to it throughout the whole 3 hours otherwise you WILL miss something. I didn’t know very much at all about Kennedy’s assassination up until now, I knew the basic story of course, including the fact that there was “a conspiracy theory”, but I didn’t know much beyond that. Personally I’m with Jim Garrison, and while I may not have been with him at the time (as I, along with the American public, probably wouldn’t have believed the US government to be capable of such things), I’ve had the benefit of seeing another 40 years of history pass by and witnessed numerous further acts of corruption, nest feathering and underhandness.

It was, of course, all about the war industry. Kennedy was a democrat radical, not exactly left wing, but certainly way too left wing for a lot of peoples’ liking. Kennedy was going to end the cold war with the Soviet Union and he wasn’t going to go to war in Vietnam, and of course this was all very bad news for those in the defence industry. The contemporary anti-communist witch-hunt was incidental, although it did not help Kennedy with his polices at the time. The links cannot be proven of course, but doesn’t that sound rather familiar considering what happened in the middle east last year? It’s the same thing every time – the economy of the United States more or less depends on there being a war in the world at any one time, whether US forces are actively involved or not. If there isn’t a war, they create one, otherwise they go into recession. They’re now even recreating the anti-communist witch-hunts, except now it’s with the largely unquantifiable foe known as “terrorism” – essentially an unrestricted meal ticket with no expiry date for the defence industry. It’s utterly sickening.

So now, 40 years on, what used to be an outrageous slur on the US government is more or less accepted as the way things are by the jaded and cynical publics of the world, and if Garrison thought that it was corrupt then, just think how he would feel if he knew what was to come: Nixon (whose corruption brought the country to the brink of crisis), arming the Taliban, Saddam Hussein and General Pinochet; right through to September 11th. Yes, I’m sorry, but I’m with the conspiracy theorists on that one, so many things just don’t make sense or sit right with me, but that’s another discussion for another day.

In summary, excellent film. An important part of United States history revealed, whether it can be proven or not. If you’re interested in United States history from that sort of time period, the film Nixon pretty much follows on from it as far as the timeline goes, although obviously it covers a different subject. Thirteen Days covers the Cuban Missile Crisis, which of course took place a year before Kennedy was killed. Kevin Costner stars in both JFK and Thirteen Days, but plays different characters in each.