I love to research. And I love movies. And sometimes movies trigger me to research. Below are some of the movies and documentaries that have sparked questions and led me to research more.
“The November 22, 1963, assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy shocked the nation and the world. The brisk investigation of that murder conducted under the guidance of Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren distressed many observers, even though subsequent careful investigations have been unable to find much fault with the conclusions his commission drew, the central one of which was that the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, acted alone. Instead of satisfying the public, one result of the Warren Commission Report was that an unimaginable number of plausible conspiracy theories were bruited about, and these have supported a sizeable publishing mini-industry ever since. In making this movie, director Oliver Stone had his pick of supposed or real investigative flaws to draw from and has constructed what some reviewers felt was one of the most compelling (and controversial) political detective thrillers ever to emerge from American cinema. Long before filming was completed, Stone was fending off heated accusations of artistic and historical irresponsibility, and these only intensified after the film was released. In the story, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) is convinced that there are some big flaws in the investigation of Oswald (Gary Oldman), and he sets out to recreate the events leading up to the assassination. Along the way, he stumbles across evidence that a great many people had reason to want to see the president killed, and he is convinced that some of them worked in concert to frame Oswald as the killer. Among the suspects are Lyndon Baines Johnson (the next president), the CIA, J. Edgar Hoover, and the Mafia. Over the course of gathering what he believes to be evidence of a conspiracy, Garrison unveils some of the grittier aspects of New Orleans society, focusing on the shady activities of local businessman Clay Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones). Garrison’s investigations culminate in his conducting a show trial that he knows he will lose and which he is sure will ruin his career in order to get his evidence into the public record where it can’t be buried again.”
“She risked everything to stop an unjust war. Her government called her a traitor. Based on world-shaking true events, Official Secrets tells the gripping story of Katharine Gun (Keira Knightley), a British intelligence specialist whose job involves routine handling of classified information. One day in 2003, in the lead up to the Iraq War, Gun receives a memo from the NSA with a shocking directive: the United States is enlisting Britain’s help in collecting compromising information on United Nations Security Council members in order to blackmail them into voting in favor of an invasion of Iraq. Unable to stand by and watch the world be rushed into an illegal war, Gun makes the gut-wrenching decision to defy her government and leak the memo to the press. So begins an explosive chain of events that will ignite an international firestorm, expose a vast political conspiracy, and put Gun and her family directly in harm’s way.”
The Green Zone – Matt Damon – “Why do we keep coming up empty handed?”
“During the U.S.-led occupation of Baghdad in 2003, Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Damon) and his team of Army inspectors were dispatched to find weapons of mass destruction believed to be stockpiled in the Iraqi desert. Rocketing from one booby-trapped and treacherous site to the next, the men search for deadly chemical agents but stumble instead upon an elaborate cover-up that inverts the purpose of their mission.
Evidence of conspiracy to assassinate JFK Jr.