A short time back ye olde scribe wrote an article teasing a further dip by legendary director Oliver Stone into the murky landscape of the assassination of the 35th president of the United States of America John Fitzgerald Kennedy. For those with memories that extend further back than the iPhone or – shudder – emoji’s, Stone, the firebrand director behind such movie masterpieces as Platoon, Born On the Fourth of July and Natural Born Killers, first explored the possibilities of an elaborate conspiracy to kill Kennedy in his 1991 film JFK. Critically and commercially lauded, JFK went on to win two Oscars and set its director up as one of the go-to experts on what precisely happened in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. For his part, Stone obliged on that front, brushing up again very briefly on Kennedy’s death in his 1995 bio-pic Nixon and participating in a scattering of Kennedy events such as symposiums, interviews, documentaries and a solid DVD commentary track on his ’91 film. The subject on whether or not Lee Harvey Oswald was indeed the lone assassin in Kennedy’s death was obviously a great passion for the auteur, a fact that was made even more abundantly clear when he announced a year or so back that he had begun work on a documentary follow-up to JFK entitled JFK: Destiny Betrayed. That’s where I stepped in; I ran with the story, devoting an entire article to the upcoming documentary. Heck, as not only a fan of Oliver Stone and his work in cinema but also as an amateur armchair Dealey Plaza conspiracy theorist, I was chomping at the bit to take another deep-dive into Umbrella Men, grassy knoll’s, Mafioso, Cuba and a string of mysterious deaths of relevant assassination witnesses following JFK’s own death. At the tail-end of my article, I promised diligent readers an update on Stone and his doc just as soon as I could dope out any new and relevant intel.
It’s been a long wait.
Finally, some solid news has emerged about JFK: Destiny Betrayed and I’m happy to report on it. Per our good friends over at Slash Film comes the news that the documentary is still very much on the hot plate and seemingly winging its way for a high-profile debut later this year.
In a wide-ranging conversation with fellow director Spike Lee (Stone allowed Lee to use his recreation footage of Kennedy’s assassination for his own masterpiece of a film Malcom X), Stone revealed that JFK: Destiny Betrayed is headed to the high-profile Cannes Film Festival this year. He also revealed that despite his major credentials as one of the best filmmakers to ever hit the scene, American venues have been extremely reluctant to go all-in with a purchase commitment.
“It’s not for the American side of it,” the director noted of the premiere. “Cannes invited us for July, or June, of this year. That’s a big step for us because, at least, if it can’t be recognized in America as a document, it will be recognized in the end by international people. And that’s important.”
Inexplicably, streaming behemoths Netflix and National Geographic both turned down the new documentary by Oliver Stone due to an unapproved fact check which leads this cynical film buff to question exactly who is in charge of these two powerhouses that they would so unceremoniously shun a filmmaker of Stone’s caliber for a “fact check” that likely did not extend beyond an unpaid intern glancing at a Wikipedia page.
Elaborating on the unauthorized fact check, Stone went on to comment about the drama surrounding his latest work: “Where are you going to find this information except in this film? If they do a fact check, according to conventional sources, of course it’ll come out like that it’s not true.”
So what can students of the most infamous cold case in American history expect with JFK: Destiny Betrayed? “It makes the case harder, tighter,” explained the director to Lee. “It’s about real facts that are shocking to people.”
The Cannes Film Festival will be held in July 2021. Keep a look out in this very spot for future updates on Oliver Stone’s JFK follow-up, JFK: Destiny Betrayed.