Interview With the Assassin

88 minutes

I was the perfect sucker for this DV feature about the JFK assassination: writer-director Neil Burger, making his feature debut, presents his video as a docudrama about the late Walter Ohlinger, an elderly ex-marine who came forward in the late 90s claiming to have been the second gunman in Dealey Plaza, and while I was busy congratulating myself for not believing Ohlinger I swallowed Burger's fiction hook, line, and sinker. Given the disinformation already swirling around the case, and the nation's persistent need to understand who killed President Kennedy and why, Burger should probably be ashamed of himself for adding to the smoke. Still, this is a gripping and carefully calibrated suspense story: shot in a cinema verite style, it follows an unemployed cameraman (Dylan Haggerty) as he's gradually seduced into believing, against all reason, that his flinty old neighbor (Raymond J. Barry in a stunning performance) committed the crime of the century. I haven't yet decided whether Burger is exposing our paranoia or exploiting it, but if people are more inclined to believe him than the Warren Report, is that his fault?

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