Oliver Stone, the Vietnam War veteran who's most recognized as the man who made "Platoon" and "Born on the Fourth of July," is at the Cannes Film Festival celebrating the 30th anniversary of his conspiracy-loaded 1991 feature "JFK."
Stone's got a new sequel of sorts, a documentary called "JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass" that doubles down on his ideas about who really killed President John F. Kennedy. The director is trying to sell distribution rights during the festival, but no one in the USA so far has been willing to touch what seems like an incredibly controversial title.
Stone claims that he doesn't traffic in conspiracy theories because he's interested only in "conspiracy fact." He recruited Whoopi Goldberg and Donald Sutherland to help narrate the new documentary, and the producers have released a clip as they look for distribution.
Stone obviously doesn't believe the Warren Commission's Single Bullet Theory, which explains how Lee Harvey Oswald could have missed the president's car entirely with one shot and then used a single shot to cause seven injuries.
Nearly 60 years after the assassination, we no longer can assume that all of our readers can follow that last paragraph without further elaboration. After Kennedy was killed and Texas Gov. John Connally was injured by gunshots in Dallas on Nov. 21, 1963, the U.S. government convened an independent commission led by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren to investigate the crime.
The final report in 1964 named Oswald as the lone gunman who fired shots from the Texas School Book Depository and determined that he acted alone. That's the "conspiracy" that Stone attacks in 1991's "JFK," starring Kevin Costner, and the new documentary.
Stone, whose worldview was forged in the rice paddies of Vietnam, fervently believes that JFK planned to pull out of the country and actively work to end the Cold War. According to that same worldview, the CIA believed that made the president a traitor to American values and decided that he must be eliminated.
Without seeing the movie for ourselves, it's hard to know for sure whether the director has come up with anything more convincing than the weird coincidences that have fueled JFK conspiracy theories since his death. Reviewers who've seen the movie at Cannes don't seem to be convinced.
Stone thinks that big media and big tech have made it harder to get the word out. In an interview at Cannes, he told Deadlin that social media's ability to promote free speech has bumped up against some harsh realities.
He notes that social media platforms are "banning a lot of people for speaking out and saying 'outrageous' things. I think that's wrong. Alex Jones may be crazy about some things, but he may be right about other things. Even Trump being banned is wrong. Censorship has taken over, this fear of offending, of saying something wrong is really against the American Dream."
It's hard to imagine that there won't be at least one company willing to distribute "JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass" here in the States, so it's likely that we'll get a chance to see for ourselves this fall.
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