Thursday, August 22, 2013

"Confessions From The Grassy Knoll" DVD / "I Shot JFK: The Shocking Truth" DVD / "Spooks, Hoods, & JFK: The Shocking Truth" DVD

Trio of conspiracy theory documentaries

The whole labyrinth of conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 is a thick and mysteriously impenetrable one. I don't profess to knowing much, and it would take a lifetime of research to even gather a serious, well-educated opinion on just what happened that fateful day. Covert involvement by organized crime and the US government itself (perhaps with the participation of the mob) have been implicated for decades, but there's yet to be any 100% verifiable and accurate resolution, and I doubt there ever will be.

Nonetheless, these three independent documentaries all strive to present a different side to the story, with mixed results. Most well-rounded is "Confessions From A Grassy Knoll", which covers the widest scope, and features the most input from supposed insiders and sources. It's also the most entertaining and professionally-produced, with plenty of newsreel footage, photos, and interviews.

"I Shot JFK" is based around an intense prison interview with James Earl Files, who, before his death, confessed to the murder -- immediately throwing into question the truth behind the accused murderer Lee Harvey Oswald's role in the whole plot (if there was one). Files was a charismatic fellow, for sure, and many of his claims were seemingly very accurate despite the FBI's assertion that he wasn't "credible". At the least, this is an entertaining and inspiring interview, and it makes an ideal second part to the previously-mentioned "Confessions From The Grassy Knoll" release.

"Spooks, Hoods, & JFK" takes a different side, and is based around an in-depth interview with CIA operative and mob associate Chauncey Holt, who died a week following this interview. He brings a series of experiences and associations to the forefront in his version, and encompasses world powers, the US government, and more mafia connections. A lively film, this one feels like an old instructional film, with dry narration. It's an intriguing look at some other possibilities, but, as with any films of this ilk, it's all down to what you want to believe.

Overall, these are some fascinating documentaries, perhaps to be taken with a grain of salt, so to speak, but interesting nonetheless.

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