DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER KOJI MASUTANI
Koji Masutani is a Visiting Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies. He holds a BA from Brown University in International Relations and has screened previous films at the 2004 and 2005 Cannes Film Festivals. He received photography training from cinematographer Christopher Doyle (In the Mood for Love / 2046) in Hong Kong.
From one end of the globe to another, across one sector to another we face crisis. From the global economy to international menaces, the President must lead the U.S. through thickets that involve complex and difficult challenges.
In matters of international affairs, how do we avoid a war with Iran over its nuclear ambitions? How do we counter the North Korean nuclear weapon gambit? How do we prop up Afghanistan as it melts down, and how is the resurgent Taliban kept at bay?
VIRTUAL JFK is a relevant film that addresses these questions by looking at the way President Kennedy dealt with six deep foreign policy crises (Cuba to Vietnam) without going to war. Combining footage from numerous Kennedy press conferences, in-depth interviews and a close reading of the documentary record, the film argues that critical decisions about the use of restraint and coercive diplomacy often require greater acts of courage than the use of force, and that character matters greatly in Presidential leadership.
The film has resonated powerfully with audiences in this pre and post-election climates and provides a critical historical context for understanding the choice that faces Americans every four years. It takes inspiration from Kennedy’s famous statement that “We must never negotiate out of fear, but we must never fear to negotiate,” and invites viewers to draw their own conclusions.
– Koji Masutani