The purpose of this documentary show was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of John F. Kenndy’s assassination and to propose that the Secret Service agent George Hickey accidentally fired the shot that killed JFK instead of hitting the would-be assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald (Vagnes 5). Overall, it is an interesting attempt to use digital animation to support this theory. It is suggested that this film was “about the truth, and supplying the American people an answer no more complex than a tragic accident coupled with a foolhardy assassination attempt“ (McDonald film). It provides a lot of information about why the creators believe that this is the case, rather than the generally accepted theory that Oswald shot the fatal bullet. Using evidence, it helps to highlight the potential discrepanices between the official report and what people think really happened on that day.
Unfortunately, there are a number of different issues with these facts and theories. The solution that are given is that the second shot that was fired that day hit both JFK and his advisor, Conally, and this explains the non-fatal injuries that they both sustained. Many movies that try to explain the events of that day believe that there was a single bullet, something known as the single-bullet theory (Jackson 110). Despite this, there is physical evidence that this could not have happened, which calls into question the animated sequences in this movie. From a personal pespective, the ideas in JFK: The Smoking Gun have been shown many times before which means that the movie has a recycled feel to it, which makes it less enjoyable. There was also a heavy focus on ballistics, which is obviously important in a case like this but makes some of the movie difficult to watch and to understand.

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  • Jackson, David P. “The Kennedy Assassination 50 Years Later.” American Journal of Physics 82.1 (2014): 5–5. Print.
  • McDonald, Malcolm. JFK: The Smoking Gun. N.p., 2013. Film.
  • Vagnes, Øyvind. Zaprudered: The Kennedy Assassination Film in Visual Culture. University of Texas Press, 2012. Google Scholar. Web. 9 Apr. 2016.