JFK: One Day in America (2023) Season Review – A compelling retelling of the murder of an icon

Season 1



Episode Guide

Episode 1: Assassination
Episode 2: Manhunt
Episode 3: Revenge


National Geographic has produced JFK: One Day in America, an enthralling three-part documentary series telling the story of the assassination of John F. Kennedy on the 22nd November, 1963, and the events that took place after the incident. Of course, this is to line up with the 60th anniversary of his death in a few weeks’ time. The documentary features a lot of archival footage of the Kennedy family in their downtime, which has been superbly restored in colour, and it looks incredible. If you didn’t know when the footage was taken, you wouldn’t think it was more than 60 years ago. It helps to paint a picture of the man away from the politics, which makes his death even more tragic when you see the young children who lost their father before his time.

The series chooses to veer completely away from the controversy surrounding JFK, and as much as this feels a bit strange, as this could have been the reason he was murdered, the whole point of the documentary is to pay tribute to his legacy. Episode one deals primarily with the lead-up to that fateful day and features interviews with the very few people in his inner circle who are still alive. The pain still remains etched on their faces, even after all these years. A point is made that, regardless of political opinions, everyone seemed to love him. 

The next two episodes chart the manhunt that took place to catch the man who killed Kennedy, and once again, all conspiracy theories are discarded in favour of the “official” version of events. No second shooter from the grassy knoll, and certainly no suggestion of the Mafia being involved in his murder. Just one crazy communist Russian sympathiser by the name of Lee Harvey Oswald. There’s an interesting interview with a former coworker of Oswald’s who gave him a lift to work at the Texas School Book Depository on the day of the murders. 

Ultimately, if you know the story of JFK’s assassination, this documentary series doesn’t offer anything new to add to the story. However, it’s an excellent retelling of the story of those frantic few days when America was left shocked by the brutal slaying of one of their most promising leaders. 

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  • Verdict - 8/10

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