Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Virtual JFK to Air on Documentary Channel

January 20, 2011

Virtual JFK: Vietnam If Kennedy Had Lived will have its US television premiere on Saturday, January 29, at 8pm on the Documentary Channel. The award-winning documentary, produced at the Watson Institute, poses one of America’s most compelling “what if” scenarios.

At the heart of the film lies the fundamental question: Does it matter who is president on issues of war and peace? Would the US have escalated the war in Vietnam if Kennedy had not been assassinated in 1963?

The film portrays the tense political standoffs of Kennedy's first presidential term through rare and previously unseen archival footage, offering nuanced accounts of the his political decisions and, by extension, his probable response to the escalating conflict in Vietnam. As such, Virtual JFK sheds new light on a man who helped avoid war in six crises during his presidency but did not live to save America from the devastating war in Vietnam.

The film is directed by Visiting Fellow Koji Masutani '05. Producers are Institute Adjunct Professors James G. Blight and janet M. Lang.

The Documentary Channel is available on the Dish Network and DirecTV.