THE DARK LEGACY
Reviewed by: Zombie Boy
John F. Kennedy
George H.W. Bush
What's it about
A feature-length documentary seeking to prove a connection between George H.W. Bush and the assassination of John. F. Kennedy.
Is it good movie?
You can say that John Hankey is in outer space, but he makes some awfully compelling points in this documentary. Conspiracy theories are by nature convoluted, and Hankey seeks to dispel the watchers who would deem him a crackpot by dealing strictly with facts, hence this doc being almost completely archival footage and photographs of documents. He doesn't need to convince you that GHWB's dad was affiliated with the Nazis, because it is public record that J. Edgar Hoover broke up the bank that Prescott Bush was co-diretor of, which was a notorious financier of Hitler's party. He also links Lee Harvey Oswald as an FBI mole spying on the CIA, the organization JFK was seeking to dismantle after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, using testimony from the actual participants in the historical events which he references. And anyway, the Zapruder film clearly indicates JFK was shot in the front of the head, and not the back. Quirky South Park-style animations fill the cracks between speeches, interviews, and photographs.
The central case being made by the doc, however, that of GHWB's involvement, is all circumstantial...but the connections and coincidences pile up to the point of being prima facie. I won't get into it all here (nor could I: it is an argument of profound complexity) but just the fact that Bush maintains he never had dealings with the CIA when the evidence screams that he did is enough to earn him some suspicion. I'm not going to say that I completely believe it, but I would think anyone colossally naive who thinks that our government, and our military, are not capable of treachery to this extent, and probably much, much more. And the more involved and spread out the plan is, the easier it is to label someone a wingnut conspiracy theorist if they try to put the pieces together. Shit, now I'm paranoid.
As to the actual viewing experience, like I said, it is mostly archival footage and documents. Hankey does his best to keep things popping with his animations, but 80-minutes of the format eventually gets tiresome. The Zapruder film is shown, in slow-motion, over and over again, so I wouldn't watch this while having a meal. Likewise the long, lingering stills of JFK on a morgue slab, with his head flayed open like a busted pinata. Hankey's constant narration is sometimes deadpan, sometimes inflected with incredulity, and sometimes he takes complete poetic license and refers to people as devils and monsters while lauding JFK as a golden god. The ad hominem attacks are one thing; the grammar errors in the titles are quite another. The flow chart at the end is one that shows a staggering obsession, but also a credible set of connections.
Video / Audio
Video: Most of the film looks like crap, but that is the fault of the source material. The actual DVD presentation is decent. The title menus are kind of screwy, though.
Audio: Not much here but Hankey's voice, which is pleasant enough to listen to.
A trailer for JFK II, another Hankey doc. In this one he seeks to place JFK jr.'s plane crash at the feet of George W. Bush. Oy vey!
The magnitude of JFK's death can only be eclipsed by the extent to which we will never know the truth. This documentary makes some interesting (and sometimes horrifying) connections, but in the end the key points are all circumstantial. Do I believe it? Yeah, basically. But I'm so left-wing I fly in circles. I suggest watching this if for no other reason than to be dazzled by the sheer depth of research that went into the undertaking. Just keep a large grain of salt in the seat next to you.