Down in Dallas Town is a startling film about the shifting terrain of public memory sixty years after the murder of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Through interviews with people on the street and songs recorded to memorialize JFK in the mid-1960s, the film explores the impact of the assassination on issues in today’s world, from lingering conspiracy theories to the proliferation of gun violence, homelessness, and the scourge of K-2.
Personal narratives are juxtaposed with the sentiments articulated in blues, gospel, norteño, and calypso recordings to haunting affect. Especially poignant is the account of Mary Ann Moorman, who returns to the assassination site fifty years later and details the making of her Polaroid photograph of the fatal head shot that killed JFK as the motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza. This resonant new film by Alan Govenar confronts ways we come to terms with the past through the power of storytelling, image-making, and a songbook that is largely unknown.