Two Short Films About JFK's Assassination

Vimeo / The New York Times
Vimeo / The New York Times / Vimeo / The New York Times

On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was murdered. The facts of that day are still a matter of dispute for some, leading documentarian Errol Morris to ponder the nature of investigation, what is knowable, and whether the intensity of investigation results in knowledge.

In these two fascinating little documentaries, Morris explores some events of that day. If you've never heard of "The Umbrella Man," or if you think the Zapruder film is the only movie footage of the assassination, these are a must-watch.

The Umbrella Man

Josiah "Tink" Thompson, author of Six Seconds in Dallas, tells the story of The Umbrella Man, a man standing alongside JFK's motorcade route, standing beneath a black umbrella on a beautiful, sunny day. Why did he have an umbrella? Why was he standing right at the place where shots were fired? What sinister plot did this represent?

Sample quote: "If you put any event under a microscope, you will find a whole dimension of completely weird, incredible things going on. It's as if there's the macro level of historical research, where things sort of obey natural laws...and then there's this other level where everything is really weird." -Thompson.

November 22, 1963

Thompson reflects on what we can consider "evidence" in this investigation, and what the central question is. I love that this includes portions of the soundtrack from Koyaanisqatsi (along with plenty of other Philip Glass compositions).