VIRTUAL JFK: VIETNAM IF KENNEDY HAD LIVED (Koji Masutani, U.S.). 82 minutes. Wednesday (April 23), 9:45 pm, Isabel Bader; April 26, 7 pm, Royal. Rating: NNN
Drawing on archival footage from presidential libraries and the National Archives, along with newly deciphered audio tapes, Koji Masutani makes the argument that the U.S. would never have been mired in the Vietnam War if JFK had not been assassinated.
Masutani cites key examples -- the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the construction of the Berlin Wall and the decision in October 1963 to begin withdrawing troops from Vietnam -- of the way Kennedy resisted his hawkish advisers and avoided war.
The footage, some of it only recently declassified, is fascinating, but because the argument has only one proponent, Brown University professor James G. Blight, it doesn't come across as totally airtight.