JKF film 'with no agenda'

JKF film 'with no agenda'
Actors Colin Hanks, Zac Efron and Marcia Gay Harden are part of the emotionally charged medical team at Parkland Hospital who try to keep the president alive, and Paul Giamatti (above) is Abraham Zapruder, who shot the iconic 26-second home movie.

Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. When the topic of the killing is brought up today in popular culture, it veers towards speculation about who really pulled the trigger that afternoon in Dallas, Texas, and why.

That everything known about the 1963 killing seems to be open to interpretation and revision these days stems in large part from a vocal group of online conspiracy theorists. Books and films such as Oliver Stone's movie JFK (1991) also helped bring scepticism out of the fringes and into the mainstream.

Journalist-turned-film-maker Peter Landesman says he made Parkland, a docudrama of the days around the shooting, partly in reaction to the questioning and historical revisionism now in vogue.

"I didn't want to just continue the same nonsense, the same circular conversations. But every movie is a mission, and this movie's mission is to tell the story as fairly and as powerfully as possible. I don't have an agenda," he says.

The film, in cinemas here now, stars well-known actors playing people who were either working at Parkland Hospital, where the president was taken after the shooting, or in law enforcement.

Marcia Gay Harden is emergency nurse Doris Nelson. Zac Efron is Dr Charles Carrico, the first doctor attending to the president, who despite a massive head wound, is shown in the film to be still alive when rushed in.

Paul Giamatti is Abraham Zapruder, the clothing manufacturer whose 26- second home movie became the iconic visual record of the incident. Oscar- nominated Australian actress Jackie Weaver is Lee Harvey Oswald's mother, a woman with the bizarre intent of cashing in on her son's notoriety.

Landesman, 50, who wrote for The New York Times Magazine, used author Vincent Bugliosi's 2008 deeply researched Four Days In November: The Assassination Of President John F. Kennedy as chief source material, supplemented by four years of his own investigations, during which he interviewed eyewitnesses or friends or relatives of witnesses.

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