Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Friday, July 17, 1998 Published at 02:46 GMT 03:46 UK


World: Americas

Kennedy video goes on sale



The world's most famous amateur movie - showing the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy - has gone on sale in the United States to the public for the first time.


Watch Stephen Sackur's report on the film
Amateur cameraman Abraham Zapruder captured the killing in Dallas in November 1963 on his eight-millimetre home movie camera. The images have helped launch a hundred conspiracy theories.

The original 26-second film is kept in a freezer in a federal archive, one of the most significant documents in US history.


[ image: Abraham Zapruder and his camera]
Abraham Zapruder and his camera
The Zapruder family is arguing over exactly how much the film is worth. The federal government is offering them $3m, but they want $18m and are prepared to go to court, saying that they want to recoup the cost of preserving and enhancing the film.

While the wrangling continues, the Zapruders are releasing the video version, which is going on sale for $20 a copy.

'Image of an assassination'


Abraham Zapruder on the day of the assassination: "I saw his head practically open up"
The 45-minute video, called 'Image of an Assassination: A New Look at the Zapruder Film,' consists of a 40-minute preamble and six separate showings of President Kennedy's head exploding when hit by a bullet.

BBC Correspondent Stephen Sackur says some Americans are questioning the motives of the Zapruder family and feel the film of the last seconds of President Kennedy's life is being misused.


[ image: Hordes of amateur cameramen tried to film the Kennedys in Dallas]
Hordes of amateur cameramen tried to film the Kennedys in Dallas
But Waleed Ali, executive producer for MPI Home Video, which made the video, argues that, despite being "gruesome, shocking and vulgar," it is probably the most important film clip in the nation's history.

"Parents should be cautious about showing it to children under the age of 11 because it is disturbing, but this needs to be out in the hands of the people," he said.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia


Internet Links

Testimony of Abraham Zapruder

Analysis of the Zapruder film

John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

From Business
Microsoft trial mediator appointed

Safety chief deplores crash speculation

From Entertainment
Taxman scoops a million

Violence greets Clinton visit

Bush outlines foreign policy

Boy held after US school shooting

Memorial for bonfire dead

Senate passes US budget

New constitution for Venezuela

North Korea expels US 'spy'

Hurricane Lenny abates

UN welcomes US paying dues

Chavez praises 'advanced' constitution

In pictures: Castro strikes out Chavez

WTO: arbitration in EU-Ecuador banana dispute

Colombian army chief says rebels defeated

Colombian president lambasts rebels