Parkland Preview Screening + Q&A with Alex Cox Cert. 15 Picture house at FACT

  • Running time94 minutes
  • DirectorPeter Landesman
  • CastZac Efron, Billy Bob Thornton, Paul Giamatti

THIS NOVEMBER MARKS THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ASSASSINATION OF US PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY. Now the events that took place in Dallas on 22 November in 1963 have been given a fresh perspective by first-time director Peter Landesman in powerful drama/thriller Parkland.

Based on the novel Four Days in November by Vincent Bugliosi and produced by Tom Hanks, this is a gripping ensemble piece that shifts the focus away from major players like the Kennedys to tell the infamous story from the perspective of ordinary people suddenly thrust into extraordinary circumstances.

“This is a movie about the ground truth from the ground level,” says Landesman, who also wrote the screenplay. “What surprised me was the power and poignancy of those who survived that day and the three that followed — the heroism, the instincts and the pathos of those swept up in this tsunami. This is an event that happened to individuals.”

Among those individuals are the Parkland Memorial Hospital staff, including rookie doctor Jim Carrico (Zac Efron) and head nurse Doris Nelson (Marcia Gay
Harden), who treated both JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald in the trauma room. The large cast of characters also includes Secret Service head Forrest Sorrels
(Billy Bob Thornton), Oswald’s mother and brother (James Badge Dale and Jacki Weaver) and Abraham Zapruder (Paul Giamatti), who captured the dramatic events in what has to be the most famous home movie ever recorded.

“Those 26 seconds of film changed his life and all of our lives forever,” says Landesman. “It’s the most examined and investigated piece of celluloid in the history of film.”

Shot in almost real time, the drama concentrates on the lifechanging, split-second decisions each character has to make rather than addressing the many conspiracy theories surrounding JFK’s death.

“No one is putting together any kind of puzzle, that’s not what this film is about,” says Landesman. “But it will open a new avenue of debate, and a healthy one.”

Richard Galpin

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