Tribeca 2018 Review: Bobby Kennedy For PresidentPosted by Dominga Martin
April 28, 2018
Documentarian Dawn Porter shares an intimate portrait of Robert F. Kennedy from the perspective of black and underserved communities.
It’s only been 50 years since the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, yet watching this bold documentary, “Bobby Kennedy For President” helmed by African American Director Dawn Porter, one would question — what year are we in? Because it feels very much like the political climate we are in presently.
The social parallels from 1968 to 2018 are shocking, sobering and deplorable. While social ills like poverty, immigration and the fight for civil rights are hard not to compare or ignore, Ms. Porter delivers a hard hitting documentary that stings you in the gut.
Episode one of this 4 part docu-series made it’s world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday night and there was not a dry eye in the house. Everything we thought we knew about the late Robert F. Kennedy was co-signed by the back story of what went on behind the scenes during crucial moments that shaped American History.
The Director revitalizes history with a new bold perspective of The Kennedys told through archival footage, from the point of view of the black community from 1963 onward. Dawn “digs through crates” to uncover interviews and raw footage which takes viewers behind the scenes as “RFK” evolved from Attorney General, to Senator and Presidential Candidate. Described by many as ruthless and one to have “hard elbows for anyone in his way.” Bobby Kennedy held his own in a cold world after the assassination of his brother John F. Kennedy. While footage shows him as he searched for his footing to find his place in a changing landscape, he did not waiver from the discernment of his Catholic upbringing.
Step by step, audiences are behind closed doors with the Kennedy brothers as they discuss the changing tide and shift in America. From RFK’s thoughts on Martin Luther King, Jr., prior to stepping in to have King released from prison. To their closed door meeting and preparation for the Federal showdown with Governor George Wallace of Alabama, in addition to the disarming of Russia’s nuclear weapons, all point to today’s climate of unrest in a divided country. Recent Interviews round out the poignant documentary, including Congressman John Lewis, human rights leader Dolores Huerta who shared Bobby’s evolving friendship with César Chávez, or insight from Actor and Activist Harry Belafonte as it relates to the private sit down at RFK’s home with Black Artists and Leaders of the time, including James Baldwin.
Director Dawn Porter takes viewers through the evolution of a man who’s heart and mind changed as he faced challenges, leading him to care for the underserved, poverty stricken communities in America.
This Netflix original jumps right in, sharing intimate moments of one of our most prolific leaders. Although we all know that tragedy is on the horizon, Bobby Kennedy for President is worth seeing, as a refresher in the course of American History with a fresh new perspective.
Currently airing on Netflix