by Emily Caruso
With the 50th anniversary of president Kennedy’s assassination November 22, a tidal wave of shows about the infamous event hit public television. One of them, based on Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Kennedy, took a respectful and insightful look on the assassination. The movie was not the stereotypical documentary where it was an analysis of the “magic bullet” or a conspiracy theory movie, but just the real proven facts about the assassination.
Killing Kennedy gave an excellent back-story on characters, going into both JFK’s life and Lee Harvey Oswald’s, Kennedy’s assassin, back-stories. Both stories not only met the objective to inform but also captivated the attention and the emotion of the time period for Americans young and old, despite the assassination occurring 50 years ago. The film captured the time period, emphasizing the Cold War and the threat that it posed to the USA by highlighting The Bay of Pigs and The Cuban Missile Crisis.
National Geographic’s Killing Kennedy did a good job casting, as actors and actresses such as Rob Lowe (JFK), Michelle Trachtenberg (Marina, Oswald’s wife), Ginnifer Goodwin (Mrs. Kennedy), and Will Rothhaar (Oswald) portrayed characters accurately and precisely. Oswald’s back-story parallels with Kennedy’s throughout the movie, giving viewers insight into the moments leading up to the assassination. Killing Kennedy is not about crazy conspiracies, blaming different people for the assassination like the CIA or the Secret Service. Director Nelson McCormick disregards all of these theories, thus sticking to what the textbook says about Kennedy’s assassination, keeping the film respectful in honor of the 50th anniversary.