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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Holy Grail of JFK assassination evidence,
This review is from: Image of an Assassination: Zapruder Film [DVD]  [US Import] (DVD)It is important that you know exactly what Image of an Assassination is before you decide to spend your money on it. The entire focus of the DVD is Abraham Zapruder's 26-second, 8 mm film showing the assassination of John F. Kennedy from start to finish. This is not a "who shot JFK?" documentary - there's no place for conspiracy theories or defenses of the Warren Commission conclusions to be found here. This is a new and much improved look at the single most important piece of evidence in the assassination of President Kennedy, complemented by a look at the process behind the digitalization of the film. There is no real analysis of the film, and no allusion to the criticisms some have made about the integrity of the film. Any conclusions to be made are left up to the viewer, and this video gives the viewer the ultimate look at this most famous, most important home video ever made.
The documentary does provide a timeline for the original film's travel across the decades, beginning on the morning of November 22, 1963, when the meek and mild Abraham Zapruder was encouraged to go home and get his camera so that he could film the passing of the Presidential motorcade. You get a brief personal look at Zapruder himself, a most reluctant of celebrities, including footage of the interview he gave to TV station WFAA hours after the assassination. There are interviews with several individuals associated with Zapruder and Time Life, the company which bought the rights to the film in the days after the assassination. You will follow the trail of the original film to the possession of Time Life (oddly, there is no mention of the mysteriously reversed frames that were printed in Life magazine shortly after the assassination) and, in 1975, back to the Zapruder family (it was sold back for $1). Time Life was feeling a little heat from the public for supposedly suppressing the original film itself after an obviously second-generation copy was unveiled to the American television public by ABC on Geraldo Rivera's talk show Good Night America in March of that year. The Zapruder family asked the National Archives to take possession of the film so that it could be stored under optimal conditions, and that is where the original 26-second film remains.
At this point, we get into the recent project to make a digital copy of the original film, one that could be made available to researchers and the public at large. Every time the original film is taken out of cold storage and viewed, deterioration is possible, and indeed some problems have been caused by the copying of the film way back in 1963. It is an impressive, laborious, strictly controlled process of a highly technical, ruthlessly documented nature, but it is much more than that. The digitalization process allowed for the vast improvement of the original film's quality. Each frame was scanned at resolutions up to 1500 dpi so that the footage could be blown up larger, dust and scratches were removed (except for those around the splices, which were just too damaged), and the sequencing is well nigh perfectly done. Best of all, though, we can now view the each frame from one film edge to the other, including all of the sprocket holes. Thus, some details can now be seen for the very first time.
The video is only 45 minutes long, culminating in several normal speed and slow-motion versions of the new and improved Zapruder film. The detail and color is amazing, but is this ultimate version of the 26-second film worth the money to you? If you are a casual JFK assassination nut, perhaps not. If you are serious about your armchair JFK assassination sleuthing, however, Image of an Assassination is a bargain at any price. Hordes of researchers over the years would have given their right arms for a version of the film half as clear as this one. The Zapruder film is the most crucial piece of evidence we have from November 22, 1963; Image of an Assassination gives you access to the Holy Grail of JFK assassination evidence.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The film of the film...,
This review is from: Image of an Assassination: Zapruder Film [DVD]  [US Import] (DVD)This great little feature tells the story of the famous Zapruder film; how Mr. 'Z' came to make it, how and when it was developed and printed, its sale to Life magazine and so on.
There are interviews with Marilyn Sitzman and Irwin Schwartz - two of Mr. 'Z's close colleagues and some good input from folks who worked on the original development and printing of the film at Kodak.
The story comes right up to date as the cameras follow the digitisation process that has done so much to restore this remarkable visual record to its original, crisp condition.
This feature doesn't analyse the film or delve into its content with regard to the murder itself. Nor does it deal with the allegations made by some who assert that the film was 'faked'. (That's only buff baloney, anyway.)
The quality of the film is excellent throughout. Lots of slow motion and close-up views make this a remarkable historical document.
The dvd extras are quite good, too.
Jay Watson's breathless announcement of the assassination and his interview with Mr. Zapruder shortly afterward.
The inclusion of Geraldo Rivera's March, 1975 'Goodnight America' session with Dick Gregory, Robert Groden and Ralph Schoenman is priceless. From the moment that Gregory first opens his mouth, the 'conspiracy mantra' comes thick and fast.
Definitely a 'must have' for anyone with an interest in the murder of JFK - whether you are satisfied that the Warren Commission, The Clarke Panel, The Rockefeller Committe and the HSCA all got it right and that Oswald killed JFK, or not.
5.0 out of 5 stars History,
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This review is from: Image of an Assassination: Zapruder Film [DVD]  [US Import] (DVD)A fabulous job of restoration of one of the most important pieces of history that has to be looked after for future generations
6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The hottest level of hell is reserved,
This review is from: Image of an Assassination: Zapruder Film [DVD]  [US Import] (DVD)The Warren Comission 'asked' the American people to believe that a shooter with no history whatsoever as an able marksman, shoot through a tree (a Texas live oak which does not drop its leaves in November)with a rifle no one could get to fire three shots within the time frame Oswald had to fire. Mostly the people did believe their government's report. Had they stood up then what might now be like? The Zapruder film makes the Warren Comission Report on the Assassination look like an animal caught in headlights, but an animal you want to hit. It is perhaps the second most important film footage of that century, the Nuremburg trial footage being the most important.
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Image of an Assassination: Zapruder Film [DVD]  [US Import] by Abraham Zapruder (DVD - 1998)