Oswald’s Ghost


The murder of John F. Kennedy—the unsolved murder, according to an overwhelming majority of Americans—has never lost its creepy fascination. In this riveting yet ultimately unsatisfying documentary, veteran director Robert Stone revisits the scene of the crime as well as the conspiracy theories that persist to various degrees. Oswald’s Ghost is grippingly effective as a detailed recap for the huge chunk of the populace born after 1963 (or anyone stumped trying to separate fact from furious, feverish fiction in JFK); it also does an excellent job of shaking the foundations of the belief systems that have calcified around the major plots and perp(s). Stone is less successful in drawing a line from JFK’s assassination through the turmoil of the ’60s to Watergate and the continuing cynicism and distrust that Americans evince toward government today. Although he doesn’t solve the murder—or even try—Stone argues quite convincingly that Kennedy’s horrifically violent death will continue to prickle the national psyche.