JFK Memento is a stunning VR documentary that lets you step into history

JFK Memento is a stunning VR documentary that lets you step into history

Image: Targo

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The VR documentary JFK Memento for Meta Quest tells the story of the assassination in a new, spatial way.

November 22, 1963 is a day that changed America forever. Exactly sixty years ago, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in an event that remains shrouded in conspiracy theories to this day.

JFK Memento reconstructs the assassination and the 48 hours that followed in detail and in a narrative style that only virtual reality can provide. I watched the VR documentary using a Meta Quest 3 and I highly recommend it. You won’t get this close to the fateful historical events a second time.

Experience historical archival footage in 3D

The 40-minute documentary tells the story of what happened that day in five chapters, through interviews with the last living witnesses, journalists and investigators, as well as through historical archival photos and videos that were remastered for virtual reality. For this, the VR studio worked with The Sixth Floor Museum, which is located in the building and on the floor from which Lee Harvey Oswald fired the fatal shot.

JFK Memento transports viewers to accurate 3D reconstructions of key locations such as Dealey Plaza, the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, and the garage where Lee Harvey Oswald was shot by nightclub operator Jack Ruby just two days after the assassination. The VR film re-projects the archival material into the 3D scenery, allowing it to be experienced in a new, spatially contextualized way.

The sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository from which Oswald shot Kennedy. Note the historical black-and-white photo evidence superimposed over the 3D reconstruction of the location. | Image: Targo

To digitally recreate these locations, the VR studio used original floor plans, laser scans, photogrammetry and other advanced 3D reconstruction techniques. Particularly impressive is the color footage of the president’s arrival in Dallas. This was transformed into high-definition stereoscopic video using AI, giving it a vibrancy and depth that perfectly captures the mood of the day mere hours before the terrible event.

A must-see for fans of virtual reality films

Watching JFK Memento is a gripping experience. The spatial storytelling not only made me feel like I was there and witnessing history, but also made it easier to understand, connect, and categorize the unfolding events. Please note that the documentary does not include any graphic depictions of the assassination and is therefore suitable for families, schools, and museums.

A 3D model of Dealey Plaza, which visualizes the scene of the assassination. | Picture: Targo

JFK Memento was produced by Targo, a Paris-based VR studio that specializes in producing VR documentaries, including Surviving 9/11, Behind the Dish and the Emmy-nominated Rebuilding Notre-Dame. The latest work, like the previous ones, was created with the support of Meta.

You can purchase JFK Memento in the App Lab for $9. The first two chapters of the VR documentary are available for free on Meta Quest TV. Be sure to download the chapters instead of livestreaming them to watch them in the best possible quality.

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