Virtual JFK: Vietnam If Kennedy Had Lived (2008)
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Critic Reviews for Virtual JFK: Vietnam If Kennedy Had Lived
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.
Audience Reviews for Virtual JFK: Vietnam If Kennedy Had Lived
We can hypothesize about JFK's potential presidency until we are red in our faces, but the dude was assassinated, so our guesses regarding any future paths he might have taken can be little more than that...guesses. LBJ tried to honor Kennedy's legacy by making the same decisions he thought JFK would make, so if you want a real-life example of how Kennedy's presidency might have played out, studying President Johnson's tenure would be way more informational than watching this fluffy piece of mental masturbation.
An intriguing film that explores both Kennedy and Johnson's opinions pertaining to Vietnam, and while both were Democrats, I would think that many viewers would be surprised to find that Johnson was much more assertive in deploying troops whereas Kennedy was extremely cautious, especially after the disaster at the Bay of Pigs.
So, like I've said before, I'm not really a documentary kind of girl. However, I thought this one was really interesting. History was never really my subject in school, either. Basically this movie makes the claim that if JFK hadn't been assassinated we would never have gone to war with Vietnam. Masutani, the director, gives a bunch of examples of instances during JFK's presidency where he avoids physical violence and even shows clips of JFK saying he doesn't feel the government had, at the time, come up with a satisfying solution to the issues arising with Vietnam. The entire idea of virtual history, which was explained at the beginning of the film, is definitely interesting. It's not actual history, since it didn't happen. It is a prediction of what would have happened in history based on prior occurrences. In this case, the outcome of Vietnam conflicts given a different president. Worth a watch, especially if you're interested in American history. Don't know that I'd ever own it because I probably wouldn't watch it again, but it was good one time around!
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