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Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment poster

My second Drew documentary on Kennedy. I must say Drew made some real progress here, though it could also just be that the topic was a bit more interesting. Drew was allowed to document some behind the scenes moments during one of the more symbolic racial issues in the US' recent (relatively speaking) history.

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George Wallace, the governor of Alabama, is actively prohibiting two Afro-American students of enlisting into an Alabama university. JFK and his brother Robert Kennedy take up the fight and start a political battle to make sure these two students are allowed in, which would become a significant victory in the US' long (and ongoing) journey to racial equality.

There's still too much mumbling and insignificant banter being shown, which takes the edge off, but it's interesting to see what happens in these rooms when a political/social/ethical issue is captivating the world outside. No doubt the footage we see is tailored to serve JFK's image, but it still comes off as genuine.


1960 / 60m - USA
Primary poster

A documentary with historic significance (mostly technical), more interesting to see were the parallels with the current political apparatus. Though this happened 60 years ago and everything looked a lot more naive and simplistic, the bottom line doesn't seem to have changed all that much. Politics is still a cult of ego, that revolves around votes more so than about substance and values.

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Documentary maker Robert Drew follows around Hubert H. Humphrey and John F. Kennedy during their primary campaign in Wisconsin. A battle between rural and urban democrats, between a man of the people and a more studious, worldly fella. It's a tight race that aptly foreshadows many of American's current political issues.

Primary is a rather pure documentary, not much context is given, the camera is simply there to register what happens. It's the kind of doc I like, but since the material isn't very unique anymore, its appeal has been limited to people with a strong liking for history. There just wasn't much here.