Many years later, many remain darkly fascinated by the Kennedy assassination, and while Lee Harvey Oswald was placed at the scene and was belived by many to be the one responsible, conspiracy theories still abound as to whether or not Oswald acted alone or if he was part of a larger plot. Oswald was a 24-year-old marine and communist sympathizer who had previously lived in Russia.
"Oswald's Ghost" is a documentary from Robert Stone (no relation to Oliver, it appears) that takes a look at the assassination of Kennedy and tries to break down the elements of the situation and attempt to get further insights from experts such as Dan Rather, investigator Josiah Thompson, activist Tom Hayden and many others.
The documentary looks into the assassination of Kennedy (and later the assassination of Oswald), the background of Oswald and elements such as the fact that Kennedy was clearly not welcome in Dallas at the time and some of his advisors had been worried about his safety if he decided to go. We also hear about some of the theories that were offered up in the wake of the tragedy, such as the possibility that a rogue arm of the CIA was involved, or Castro or the Russians. The documentary also explores the impact the assassination had on the society of the time.
"Oswald's Ghost" is an enaging deconstruction of some of the aspects (what can be covered in 90 minutes including credits, which isn't enough time to truly get as in-depth as required), but those who have tried to delve deep into the facts of the situation or those who have explored the many conspiracies again and again will probably not find much here they haven't come across elsewhere. Those completely unfamiliar or too young or those like myself that have a knowledge of the basics of the event will find that the information is presented in a clear, fairly organized manner and assembles all the facts (if not coming to conclusions) well, with a mixture of new interviews, audio recordings and archive footage/stills.
VIDEO: "Oswald's Ghost" is presented by Paramount in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Picture quality is generally very good, as new interview footage looked crisp and detailed, while archive footage seemed to be in better-than-expected condition overall. Colors appeared accurate and natural, as well. Overall, this was a fine transfer of the material.
SOUND: The production is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, but there was little need for the presentation to be more than stereo. Surrounds were barely used throughout the program, nor did they need to be. Audio quality was fine, however, with clear effects and natural dialogue.
EXTRAS: "The Zapruder Film and Beyond" featurette, "A Visit to the Dealey Plaza" featurette and interview with Robert Stone.
Final Thoughts: "Oswald's Ghost" doesn't have the running time to go as in-depth into the events as it would like to, but those who aren't intensely familiar with the details will likely find it a strong overview, and for those viewers it is recommended. Those who have gone over the facts many times will likely not find much here that hasn't been gone over already. The DVD presentation offers very good audio/video quality, as well as a few minor extras.