Parkland        2013      Peter Landesman


In late 1963 I was 7. Sometime in late summer to early fall my Mother gathered us up and we walked over to the side of the new Northwest Expressway and climbed up the grass that led to the road and waited. There were several people already there. ” The President is coming” was heard. There was quite a buzz amongst all of us that slowly built till suddenly there was a limo in front of us and someone in the backseat waving out the window at us. It was Kennedy. I remember this oh so well. Would I have remembered it if what happened a few months later had not happened?

Forward to November. I was in school. I overheard one teacher telling another that ” The President has been shot in Dallas”. Immediately an image appeared in my head that I remember having. It was a Texas town. Dirt road. Someone with their back to us. A Cowboy. Pulling his gun out of his holster. And shooting the President standing facing him. The things we imagine when we are 7.

The weekend went on. Television was turned over completely to the events. I remember seeing the casket being driven up to the White House. I remember the camera staying on the building as I heard people talk. The nest day the rows and rows and rows of people lining the streets waiting for a chance to get in to see the casket lieing in state. I remember Jackie kneeling and kissing the casket.

Sunday came and we were in Church. I remember after the service someone saying that “Oswald had been shot”. Monday came and there was the Funeral. The march thru the streets. The Salute from John Jr. My Mom and Sister crying as that sat on the couch watching. Watching the grave sight ceremony. The lighting of the Eternal Flame.

A few years later I made the trek to Washington. I stood at the Grave Site. I remember the feelings that came over me seeing John and his Brother Robert’s graves.

When Parkland was released I was extremely excited. I just recently watched it. It is a tremendous achievement, It is a brilliant retelling that put us inside of these events.

However something was missing. While I highly recommend seeing it, there is something that it lacked. It is powerful. Just not as powerful as I had imagined. Why? Its too short. It runs only 90 Minutes. I think they tried covering too much ground and the film lacked the emotional punch it could have had they delved deeper into it.

Or…. After all my memories…All my emotions… From that time long ago…

Could ANY film have lived up to that?


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