Virtual JFK: Vietnam If Kennedy Had Lived (2008)
Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 23
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 5
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Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 15
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 3
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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 315
The date of November 22, 1963, will forever be engraved in the hearts and minds of all Americans, but the events of that horrible day speak to a broader underlying question in light of the controversy to follow: had he lived and been reelected in 1964, how would John F. Kennedy have handled foreign policy in Vietnam? Americans will never have a definitive answer, of course, but in the documentary Virtual JFK: Vietnam If Kennedy Had Lived, director Koji Masutani re-introduces this question and
Sep 17, 2008 Wide
Oct 27, 2009
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Fascinating stuff, but after a while the film runs out of things to say and falls back on clichés.
Director Koji Masutani has masterfully assembled a wealth of archival footage, photos and audiotapes, some of which has been recently declassified.
Despite its title, Virtual JFK doesn't imagine a world where JFK survives the events of Dallas and goes on to win a second term as U.S. president. That would be a whole other movie, and a fascinating one at that.
The film is a seductive immersion into an early sixties zeitgeist and Cold War cool.
The word Iraq is never uttered, but there's no avoiding it as Kennedy asserts during the Bay of Pigs crisis that to attack Cuba, a country that hadn't attacked the United States, would be contrary to our national tradition.
The controversial process of counterfactual history gets a captivating workout in Virtual JFK.
If nothing else, Virtual JFK does remind us of what it was that made him charismatic.
Contrary to its title, Virtual JFK is less a counter-history of the Vietnam years than a tribute to John F. Kennedy's stubborn resistance to a military that pressured him to go to war on six occasions during his short presidency.
Hearty takes and outtakes by Kennedy, his peers and nemeses intertwine objectively to thwart anyone who pegs the work as purely absurdist.
Assembles an amazing array of recorded conversations and vintage newsreel, and offers up enough press conference footage to make one nostalgic for the days when an uncowed, penetrating press really did serve the public interest.
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