Friday, June 06, 2008
"Robert Kennedy Remembered": a documentary triibute to RFK made in 1968 by Guggenheim
On the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (in Los Angeles, by Sirhan) some PBS stations last night aired the documentary short “Robert Kennedy Remembered.” The film was produced and directed in late 1968 by Charles Guggenheim (associated with the museums in New York and Bilbao), and National General Pictures, which as a major studio from 1948-1973 (it would eventually be absorbed largely by Warner Brothers), and runs about thirty minutes.
The movie is in black and white and the story of his life moves quickly. The narration relates that Robert early decided to support his brother to build his own career, before he became JFK’s Attorney General. There was a brief account of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, with pictures of the U-2 images of the Cuban installations. The film says that RFK was flying over Indiana in 1963 when he learned of JFK’s assassination in Dallas. Robert was particularly vigorous in enforcing federal court desegregation orders, especially in Alabama, and he would go after organized crime. He often spoke of healing hatreds and strifes, but tended to speak of them in largely collective terms. Sometimes he mingled with demonstrators or the underprivileged, such as migrant workers. Gradually he developed a personal moral opposition to the war in Vietnam. In mid March 1968 he announced his candidacy for president. The film covers the final tragedy in Los Angeles briefly.
ABC News also reviewed the film and aired portions with its own commentary. NBC Today has noted that Robert Kennedy predicted that an African American would become president within 40 years. That would be 2008, and he (as had Johnson) used terminology that is not acceptable today. As I heard a high school administrator say once, over decades "times change" with respect to many issues.
In 1963, Washington DC would name its then new stadium after him, as RFK; the “new” baseball Senators played there until 1971, and the Redskins played there until the mid 1990s. The new Nationals played there from 2005-2007.