The Umbrella Man (2016)
This was an accidental find yesterday. I was researching the Zapruder film of Kennedy’s assassination and ran across some YouTube videos discussing the Umbrella Man, as he has become known to the world. Here’s the NY Times video I found:
From Wikipedia: “After an appeal to the public by the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), Louie Steven Witt came forward in 1978 and claimed to be the “umbrella man”. He claimed still to have the umbrella and did not know he had been the subject of controversy. He said that he brought the umbrella simply to heckle Kennedy, whose father, Joseph, had been a supporter of the Nazi-appeasing British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. By waving a black umbrella, Chamberlain’s trademark fashion accessory, Witt said he was protesting the Kennedy family appeasing Adolf Hitler before World War II.”
Witt died on November 17, 2014.
This film was first released in June, 2014, and then re-released in 2016, probably to include Witt’s death, but the problem is that the film is set in 1983:
From IMDb: “Set in 1983 Pittsburgh, PA, Peter and Annie Brennan face the tragic death of their young son. The boy’s death and the subsequent acquittal of his killer, kindles a conspiratorial paranoia in Peter that threatens his sanity, and marriage. While trying to discover more about the killer of his son, Brennan becomes fixated on the story of The Umbrella Man, a suspected shooter in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. His decent into the underworld of conspiracy theorist sub-culture provides a place of emotional refuge for Peter, yet also contributes to his psychological undoing. From a Moose Lodge in Swissvale PA, to Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, The Umbrella Man is one couple’s story of love, loss, and the ‘against all odds’ survival of their relationship.”
Now, anyone who has read some of my blogs for the past few years knows I love a conspiracy theory or two. But paranoia is the element that is the harmful side effect of these theories. And, as we have seen, the trust in the government is threatened when stuff is covered up, especially if the coverup is to ‘protect the people’ (meaning, keep the people from rising up in anger). Peter’s mental health in this story is severely tested by the knowledge he discovers in his research. In the end, he comes to his senses, with the realization that the past cannot be changed, even if some sense of justice was handed down. In Peter’s case, the loss of his son made him cry out in anger and frustration at the ‘system’. The tears from his eyes were washed away by a rainstorm at Dealey Plaza.