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The Ambiguity of History - Assassination, Conspiracy, and the Effects of a Coup D’etat
By Brendan Feeney, with comments by Melissa Barrero, Michael Berilla, Samantha DiStefano, Kelsey Duffy, Patrick Hammond, Thomas Mazzucco, Maxine McCoy, Sarah Morgan, Erika Ross, Teresa Salvatore

In an article he wrote for Cineaste in 1992, not long after his controversial film JFK was released, Oliver Stone posed a very important question -- who defines history? This question seems obvious at first. History should define itself. An incident occurs, a set of facts are established, and these facts are accurately and judiciously related to future generations through a variety of mediums. It is often stated that film is the least appropriate medium to portray history. Film focuses too heavily on emotions and entertainment but not on the facts.
Stone vs. Critics -- Real, Politics, or Marketing?
By Yue Chen

What was Oliver Stone’s real intention in making the film? Stone says every film he makes has a purpose, and under heavy attacks from critics and historians who denounced JFK as an attempt to re-write history, Stone responded with his own vigorous rebuttals. Stone created a heated debate surrounding the film -- was he simply trying to promote and generate buzz for the movie, did he truly believe in the conspiracy theories, was there a political agenda, or maybe it was a combination of all the above?
Mini-Symposium on Oliver Stone and D. W. Griffith
By the Reel American History class, Lehigh University, July 2010

Teacher's note: As a class, we seemed to support the goal and methods of Oliver Stone in JFK. We did not feel the same way about D. W. Griffith (and Thomas Dixon) in Birth of a Nation. Why? Aren't the issues fundamentally the same? So why did we praise one and deride the other? I thought the juxtaposition of these two central films in reel American history would trigger meaningful reflection on some core issues in reel American history. And I asked the class to try capturing their thoughts in one paragraph. (Prof. Edward J. Gallagher)
Stone Duels with His Critics: A Mini-Symposium on JFK
By the Reel American History class, Lehigh University, July 2010

JFK was one of the most controversial films in our history, and Oliver Stone engaged in what we might call a pamphlet war around its opening, energetically defending his work from his critics. Here our class tries to focus on the rhetorical strategies employed by both sides in these duels...
Whose Memory Is This?
By Erin Thorn

Around the time that his controversial film JFK hit theaters in 1991, director Oliver Stone engaged in several academic sparring matches with film critics about the merits of his work. Several critics felt that Stone’s interpretation of New Orleans-based attorney Jim Garrison’s late 1960’s investigation of John F. Kennedy’s assassination was too far-fetched to be bothered with. To his credit, Stone fought hard against all of his critics and defended his right to make a movie the way he saw fit. Shortly after the film’s release, he is quoted as saying, “What I have tried to do with this movie is to open a stall in that marketplace of ideas and offer a version of what might have happened” ("Who Defines...