This sense is emphasized by Stone’s employment of several real-life participants in depicting his version of events. By refusing to recast the president, for example, Stone proves his talent as a director working with limited available footage and injects reality into the story. When he uses the Zapruder film, Stone is able to inject a somber mood of reflection as audiences realize this is the actual event and not a staged recreation. Another significant appearance is Jim Garrison playing the role of the Honorable Chief Justice Earl Warren. By placing him in this role, Stone suggests that anyone placed in the real life role may have been obligated to come to the same conclusions the Warren Commission delivered. Real life assassination witness Jean Hill also appeared in the film as the stenographer taking down Hill’s real life statement. Again, the underlying message is that of authenticity – Hill wouldn’t change her own statements or misrepresent what she said herself.
The overall style of the film further emphasizes authenticity. The video montage of the first section of the film establishes its link with reality by showing real news footage. The video is left in its television-sized format, surrounded by plenty of black space, making the theater dark and bringing the mood of the audience into alignment with the seriousness to follow. However, the gradual reduction of the music to only rhythmic, heartbeat-like strikes on the drum help create dramatic tension leading up to the flash of a completely black screen and the sound of shots being fired. This is followed by the almost equally dark CBS New Bulletin screen and newscaster voiceover announcing the news that the president had been shot. The first full screen footage seen by the audience is that of the Zapruder film documenting the president’s final moments within a nearly silent environment. All that can be heard is the