A New Generation
I’d Like To Serve
You Only Get One Time Around
Justice for Bobby
The Kennedy Family and their controversial time in The White House and politics in general is arguably one of the most intriguing periods in history playing host to numerous conspiracy theories around the suspicious nature of their deaths. Bobby Kennedy For President is a four part documentary series that focuses on Bobby’s political rise to presidential candidacy before being assassinated. Exploring big political issues around Vietnam, worker’s rights and the Civil Rights movement, Bobby Kennedy For President is a fascinating look at the Kennedy brothers and the mood encapsulating America during this tumultuous time.
The first episode begins in the early 60s with Robert F Kennedy directing his brother John F Kennedy’s presidential campaign. After briefly touching on JFK’s murder, the documentary continues through another 2 episodes that sees Bobby run for the U.S. Senate while committing to fighting for Civil Rights and campaigning against the war in Vietnam. The final episode takes a reflective stance following Bobby’s shocking murder, exploring various conspiracy theories and suspicion surrounding the handling of the investigation and if there ever will be a time we know for definite what really happened.
Although there is a slightly objective viewpoint from ordinary citizens on the street and opposing politicians, as a personal note it would have been nice to include some of the controversy around Marilyn Monroe’s alleged affair with JFK instead of showcasing him as a saintly figurehead but it’s a minor point in a documentary series that at least attempts to have somewhat of an impartial point of view on the subject. For the most part though, Bobby Kennedy For President is a humbling look at a man that put the good of his country above greed and political gain.
The documentary series is shot predominantly through archival footage with a few snippets from present day face to face interviews. With the amount of archival footage shown, the series is predominantly shot in black and white before slowly moving to colour, echoing a time period rife with change. Some of this archival footage is incredibly interesting, providing a rare glimpse into definitive moments of Bobby’s campaign as well as difficult moments inside the Oval House. One in particular shows the tough job JFK had negotiating with fiery army generals around whether to engage in a nuclear war with Cuba.
While there are perhaps more in depth documentaries and an exhaustive list of books on the subject of the Kennedy’s, Bobby Kennedy For President takes a unique viewpoint on this fascinating period in American history, following the life of Robert F Kennedy rather than his older, more prolific brother. There’s a great use of archival footage here too and the inclusion of objective viewpoints from the general public is a small but crucial detail helping to at least provide a bit of an objective viewpoint in an otherwise celebratory and tragic documentary about a truly remarkable man.