“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”John F Kennedy
KINGKENNEDY is a true story, a unique documentary cinematic experience. This film tells how a shared vision for freedom and justice by John F Kennedy, Robert F Kennedy and Martin Luther King led to their tragic assassinations. Despite their untimely deaths, nothing could prevent their message of equality, decency and hope being recognised by all mankind.
KINGKENNEDY the film is produced entirely from archive material WITH NO NARRATION yet it has a compelling and emotional narrative. It has no actors yet it is full of charismatic characters. It is a story from yesterday with a message for today.
KINGKENNEDY is a powerful and emotional experience.
KINGKENNEDY should be seen by everyone who loves freedom, equality and justice.Download the Booklet
I depend totally on my intuition and it immediately said to me that this would be the definitive film on JFK, RFK and MLK and IT IS!!!
DIANE MEYER SIMON (CO-FOUNDER, PRESIDENT EMERITUS OF GLOBAL GREEN USA) WAS ON BOBBY'S CAMPAIGN FROM APRIL 1968 TILL HIS DEATH IN JUNE THAT YEAR
I could write a total critique of the film – but just let me say it is brilliant and has such power to educate the world. It will be a grand success and will fulfill all your hopes and dreams and more for this masterpiece. Please tell everyone I met today that I am blown away and if I hadn't been so emotional after seeing it I would have talked to them all, but I could barely speak.
Having been with Bobby during the whole campaign, his part especially got to me and you did such a marvelous job of catching all the things that made that campaign so magical – the dog, the missing cuff links, the body guards holding him in the car, people messing up his hair, This Land is my Land, this land is your land, the land was made for Kennedy, his sense of humor and so much more.
Anyway, please know I am so excited about King Kennedy that I can't wait to make phone calls to the 300 people from across the US about this film.
This film is extraordinarily gripping; even though we are familiar with these world-changing events and tragedies, the glimpses into the build-up and background are chilling.
JOANNA LUMLEY (ACTRESS)
It works brilliantly without commentary or over-view; it is history, subtly edited, speaking for itself.
This is a stunning film, which brings the hope, the expectation, and the tragedy of the Sixties movingly and directly back to life. It encouraged me to remember, it made me think, and it brought tears to my eyes. But it's not only about "then". It's about "now", too. That's what makes it so good. It's a must-see.RT HON LORD SMITH OF FINSBURY (CHAIRMAN OF THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY AND FORMER CULTURE SECRETARY)
May I say how powerful it is. It moved me to tears throughout. I hope very much that this can receive backing on a large scale, as people would do well to see it. Especially now, when politicians don't seem to fight for much beyond their own records. To see a film about three men, not too long ago, willing to die for and speak so well about unconditional love, not just for some bloated ideal of "America" (as we hear now) but just for people. American or otherwise.CONNOR P
I thoroughly enjoyed the film and felt inspired by its central characters and message of hope.
I really believe that this film should be seen by as many people as possible.
Thank you so much for letting us see your brilliant film.We have just finished watching it.
I found it extraordinary.
The fact that there is no narration is so powerful and the music track – this is my era so the music was so evocative. The footage is just amazing. You have pulled together such a layered story of the 60's and God how pivotal a time.
It is so moving. I found myself in tears with the way you dealt with the assassinations. I would've thought it was so familiar I wouldn't be touched but those echoes throughout- the little boy playing salutes with Jackie and then saluting his father's coffin, The relentless truth of all the coverups. The naivety and terrible cynicism. I so want to know more about this film – What made you start it? How have you been able to find so much unseen footage? And what are the plans now for it?
It is an extraordinary project and it needs to be seen. I think it should be compulsory viewing- there is so much that lies within it.
I was obsessed as a 10 year old with JFK's assassination . While my classmates did projects on English Birds and Keeping Pets, mine was a scrapbook of cuttings from Dallas depository and the grassy knoll. I wish I'd got it now. On conspiracy theory territory I suspect my teachers may have binned it as unsuitable for the show and tell table.
I am so glad to have seen it.
One of the most absorbing film I've seen. This is real life drama in real time – so relevant for 2011. Educational, moving, inspiring – showed authentic leaders and the need for figures that inspire hope through integrity and forward thinking.CATHERINE S
Absolutely engaged my interest. I was more than entertained; I was moved. I would whole heartedly recommend this film. It shows the tremendous loss and turbulence of times we cannot imagine. Its beauty is its honesty.NATALIE R
Interesting from historical point of view but also emotional from cinema point of view. Very moving, inspiring and educational.AGGIE M
The film is excellent. It doesn't aim to present a rounded history of the Kennedys and that is its strength. To engage anyone but especially kids, history needs to have a point of view and stir emotions, not just list facts. Teachers can be picky though so the discussion guide that goes with the film needs to be fronted by an academic, I think. As a former teacher, I would have loved material like the film to get my kids talking and forming their own opinion. There is so much they can relate to. It has a valuable social message.NATS
I saw the film last night and was totally transfixed, so much so that I didn't notice until the end that there had been no voiceover and the archive clippings themselves told the story. I thought that the music was some of the most effective I've heard in a film in the way it reflected the mood of the clipping in question and built up the tension. It also made me nostalgic for the days when politicians (at least some of them) were principled, with gravitas and integrity. It also made me realise just how much Bobby Kennedy was pulled into running for the presidency out of duty and familial loyalty rather than burning ambition, although it seemed as though he would have been an excellent president, had he had the chance. This film has to get finance and be open to all, not least school children who, black and white, should know the extent of the fight carried out to enable them to live with the relative freedom from division that they do now. A truly memorable film.CHARLIE C-J
I've seen many films since I saw King Kennedy but I still think about King Kennedy almost everyday. It is very relevant and was very powerful. I would love to see it again!! It is a masterful film!! It reminds me that if I was in that era now- I'd be a Kennedy supporter. All three of these guys were too good for this world. We need to keep spreading the message.JON C
What a fabulous film you made! I hope many more people have the opportunity to get to a screening... Congratulations on your accomplishmentsPERHAPS TOMORROW
This is a gripping, gripping film. I felt that I was transported back in to time and I could really see the context in which these three individuals operated and what they were trying to do to move the world forward. Totally unforgettable.LISA M
I caught the screening of this yesterday night and it was phenomenal, it was really amazing and I enjoyed every second of it!!!!!VERNER M
Watching this movie reminds me of my Father in Vietnam and all the struggles people went through during that turbulent time. Very reflective of todays issues. A good name might also be "3 Kings."MICHAEL Q
It was really interesting, motivational and inspiring to watch "history" in the form of an amazing documentary film, King Kennedy.LABAN R
The film itself is very impressive.
For me, what is powerful about this film is that it tells a story of how three men were up against more malign forces (CIA, power-hungry opponents, war-mongerers, racists, bigots) in their attempt to bring peace, equality and freedom to America and the world. They did this despite their personal cost and ultimately all three paid the ultimate price. They all lost their lives in dubious circumstances.
Overall, the editing is effective, the imagery has an authentic quality and the narration is provided by te newscasts, commentary and speeches of the key players – which feels less voyeuristic than a modern-day narrator and more like visiting the archives of the time. But what makes this a good film is not these things but the story and what it does to the individual ('what would I do in these circumstances'). We are left humbled and in awe of these three men who are all, without doubt, incredible leaders of change and have left their mark on our society.
What a labour of love. Great music. Great story telling (although I had a few minor suggestions to help audiences who are not as familiar with the facts and who people are as you all are) Anyway I cried a lot, and found it made me sad, incensed, inspired etc etc As the film developed my respect for all three men really grew - especially Bobby ! It made me want to get back into political filmmaking and help change things......(which is of course what I'm doing but i've just lost faith so it re-invigorated me with the idea of 'someone's gotta do it - if good men/women sit by and say nothing ...etc)
It's also great to hear what they actually said from their own lips – really wonderful. Bobby seemed to be somehow the most tragic being the final crusading hope extinquished. I kept feeling that now Obama's the president it's a new era of some kind of hope at least – and the time this needed to be shown was in the dark years of Bush/Blair to shame those war mongering bastards! There was so much in it to inspire, so many things said that I wanted to cheer and clap – I have to say it was a hugely enriching experience and I will recommend it to everyone I can to help.
I believe that you have made an incredible movie and have obviously invested a huge amount of time, painstaking attention to detail and emotion into the project. I can't even begin to imagine how long it took to gather all of that footage and cut it in the way you guys have – smoothly and seamlessly.
I saw all the fruits of your labour come together on the screen (and the bluetooth!) in a powerful but also very personal study on three of the most influential public figures from the 20th Century. It was wonderful to see (for once) ALL aspects from their family lives, political ideals, struggles, inspirational speeches all the way through to the tragic, wasteful deaths that they all suffered.
Another VERY important affirmation is your choice of "soundtrack" – fantastic – enough said.
We should all talk very soon to see how we can collectively work to get this the exposure it truly deserves.
I absolutely loved this documentary. It was so moving that I got lost in it. On top of it all, I was reminded of my heritage in a very real sense. Without these powerful men my life as it is would not be possible.JENNIFER G
It's really great: poignant, inspiring and timely.
The anorak in me liked Bobby Kennedy's comment about populations being conservative and needing leadership to move a little. I loved the family shots and all the behind the scenes footage.
Great soundtrack. The story worked very well.
I found the film to be intriguing, unbiased, moving, and very much informative, somewhat of an "eye opener"!
NICOLETTE E (AN AMERICAN IN LONDON)
My favourite moments of the film were the clips/footage of the horrific, unfathomable events of war and racism. Two different things in American history that are still alive today, just not talked about as much.
The soundtrack was brilliant! Being an American, I grew up on music from my parents' youth. My Dad is a Californian who almost went to Vietnam. I believe the soundtrack was music that conveyed the youth of that era.
I see this film as real, honest, raw and moving. I walked away feeling a sense of sorrow, pride, responsibility as an American – and forward thinking.
Was blown away by the film. Amazing archive footage which everybody should see. Well done. OozOOZIE G
Watching KINGKENNEDY was like travelling in time. It's a painfully wonderful film that sits uncomfortably and yet somehow hopefully within the context of our world today. It's uncomfortable because you have to examine the mountains of dust that were swept under the carpet; the ugly truth is suddenly right there in front of you. But it's also inspiring because you can sit and hear Martin Luther King, with his eyes and heart blazing with hope say "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." And feel the exponential joy that the journey of equality he started has been so symbolically and powerfully signposted with the election of Obama. I sat and watched King and thought, if he but knew... it made me tingle, and it made me cry. Something that struck me strongly, was that I saw a country full of people trying to do the right thing, being thwarted by some undisclosed power. A passionate nation searching for a leader to take them towards peace, not war... The behind the scenes decisions that must have been made to what loom over the events of the film. You have to watch the promise and possibility of three men's lives be destroyed. Each Dream and hope undone. It's heart-breaking.
The humanity of the film was extraordinary. You would think that a documentary without a narrator to lead you would be confusing and possibly hard to connect with, but actually without a frame of ‘what you are seeing here...' your eyes are your own. You are dealing with stories that have been digested by years of literature and politics to the point when they've become cold facts. This film allows you to see the people in the stories, their lives, the reality of it all. When Jacky Kennedy drops her head at the funeral, I saw the magnitude of what she was dealing with and the heart-break and the despair... it's moments like these that you don't expect in a documentary, you don't expect such unadulterated truth.
A surprise to me was the progression and journey of Bobby I loved seeing him blossom. He was so charismatic, like a movie star, smouldering on screen, and his ability to say the right thing to a crowd, about the Kennedy's populating America and asking the nuns if they said their prayers... his floppy film star hair... he's become a hero of mine because of your film. His story was not known to me. I am very glad that it is now. The most beautiful moment of the film, being, for me, his smile, and that applause, because it's almost like he's allowing himself to take in the power of his nation, and he's starting to imagine what he could do with their support.
You capture an atmosphere within the footage, the idea of the threat of ‘the bomb' was never so palpable to me as it was in your film, you can see people being horrified by what hangs in the balance... and that JFK Speech about being remembered as the generation of people who begin the quest for peace is so tempered by the feeling that the world could be irrevocably damaged with he dropping of a nuclear weapon... as he says "how many times do you have to hit a target with a nuclear bomb" Powerful stuff.
A million delicate moments of the minutiae of human nature are captured alongside three of the most poignant happenings of the 60s. What loss, what tragedy, and what mystery beset this nation with the assassination of these three men...
So yeah... I liked it.
I was deeply impressed by KINGKENNEDY and believe that it has very strong critical and commercial potential.
SIMON CLEMENT-DAVIES, PRODUCER
This was the first time that I have seen the dramatic and moving footage of John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King interwoven into one powerful narrative framework that vividly and eloquently portrays the idealism those leaders symbolised as well as the tragedy of the triple slaying.
Once you have been able to add a haunting musical soundtrack, I am sure that KINGKENNEDY will represent a unique window into the heady spirit of the 1960s, its bright dawn and its dark, violent end.
KINGKENNEDY is such an action and information packed film that it redefines genres. It is more exciting than a typical documentary, and much more enlightening and thought provoking than a simple action packed movie. I loved it and cannot wait to see it again on the big screen.LUCY A
The first time I saw KINGKENNEDY on a big screen I knew it would make a fantastic documentary feature for the cinema. But even more importantly, it is a historic document with an evergreen quality beyond measure. It's a film that will sell over and over again through the years on television, cable and DVD and.......on whatever new media is invented over the next so many years! I have been in film marketing and sales since 1971 and to see something so readily marketable in all media is always a mouth watering prospect.BILL S
Once again many thanks for the opportunity to see KINGKENNEDY again.
The impact was as great the second time around this is a remarkable film. If the reaction of last night's audience is a guide then it will be the hit it deserves to be.
KINGKENNEDY is a documentary feature film that chronicles events in the period of American history from John F Kennedy's election through to the assassination of his brother, Robert Kennedy.
After watching KINGKENNEDY at Sony Preview theatre, I concluded that even as a rough cut it is a huge accomplishment, which has the potential to be extremely successful.
The film has been made by assembling selected edits taken from over 800 hours of actual footage recorded at the time, and arranged in such a way that a narrative is created, with a sense of plot, suspense and drama. Even though the film is ostensibly a documentary, there is no dead-pan voice over or objective explanation, and therefore no sense of emotional distancing.
Footage from the major political episodes, public appearances, crucial and pivotal speeches and also the more intimate and touching moments from the lives of John F Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King are shown. The period before and after each of their assassinations is documented.
The film progresses in waves of crescendo and descent as the dramatic narrative unfolds, and this sense of pace contributes to the excitement and emotional impact of certain key moments. Images from events that transpired simultaneously are arranged and layered in such a way, that the themes and political implications of this momentous period in history are compared and contrasted, and are thereby deeply resonant, moving and thought provoking. I found myself holding back tears on a number of occasions.
There is a tangible flavour of the political and social climate of the 1960s being recalled. This is both fascinating and illuminating for someone of my own age, who was born in 1969, and certainly those who were around at the time would identify with events too, in a different and probably more personal way.
What is also interesting is the way in which the footage has been carefully edited to create a kind of montage and how, as the film develops, a character profile of each of the protagonists emerges. Like good characterisation in a novel or movie, I got a real sense of the personalities of these men. I think this sense of identification with the characters and their political motivation and ideals is one of the reasons why the film is so compelling and emotionally intense. The sense of tragedy when each assassination occurs is even more acute.
The strong implication in the film that the murders of these men were connected to an internal conspiracy is interesting but not necessarily shocking. It does however drive home even more forcefully the conclusion that those rare individuals who want to change things for the benefit of many by destabilising a corrupt society may be destroyed but not forgotten, and this film is a testament to that.
Even though the film is made from footage of real events and has been put together in a certain way, the same footage could have been put together entirely differently. It is one representation of the "truth" based on a particular vision. This is an obvious point but I think it's an important one. The power of the film is in that vision.
This film is going to connect with all who see it, especially Americans. Americans who lived through it will reconnect with the horror of those times, while the younger generations will be introduced to men of peace who were silenced in their prime. Younger viewers may also find the similarities of war and injustice and the irresponsibility of our own times and our own leaders.
I found that the behind the scenes, up close and personal shots of John F. Kennedy and his family and also Bobby Kennedy and his family were particularly moving. What this movie provides is that you feel like you know them. You see John's humour, Bobby's compassion and Jackie's values. The movie is so moving because it's like a reality show, except a horrifying reality show in which the central characters get killed. And what's worse is of course the nobles causes that they stood for are the very reasons they were shot down.
There are many reasons for tears in this film. I wanted to simultaneously cry for John, Bobby, Jackie, Martin, the soldiers dying and just generally weep for the helplessness that such horror brought to our nation. When I heard John F. Kennedy speak, I was a believer; I wanted more than anything for him to be our President now. I feel like the movie showed JFK at the dawn of a new era. JFK represented hope and a new liberal vision for the world. And then the assassinations sent the country into dark times and war.
Being a documentary, this movie still contains a strong feeling of storyline, a strong representation of beginning, middle and end. It is well arranged. It is also extremely informative. I felt that the placement of facts such as troop numbers, arms dealers' earnings along with the presentation of dates and timelines was very tactful. It feels like a history lesson with a pulse and an entertaining and sad look into the Kennedys. It was an emotional experience to watch it. The Vietnam footage, the race riot footage and the family footage were all very necessary to the story. My only suggestion would be, if possible, to bring some additional footage of Martin Luther King speaking out against the war.
Loved it overall.
I would also like to applaud you and your team for putting together a smart piece of documentary/drama.
I am just 40 yrs old and always knew of the historical facts, but not in the order of when they occurred. This was both a learning and emotional ride, even when we were witnessing the horrors of the civil rights atrocities and the Vietnam war, I was thinking this should be left in the archives, but by the end of film I appreciated that it needed to shown to convey the message that these leaders were trying determine.
I wish you every success in funding the final process and very much look forward to it being shown on the big screen.
Just a quick thank you for allowing me to watch KINGKENNEDY yesterday – and an even bigger thank you for keeping me awake until about 3am wishing the Kennedy's and MLK were still alive!
I've managed to bend every ear within shouting distance about the importance of this film and that the financing must be found to complete the project. How to win friends and influence people doesn't come into it in this case. It's more a case of how to mug and threaten people into parting with chunks of money.
Once again – thank you for letting me watch the film. It's a fantastic project, an important one. The music will be phenomenal of course and will aid in setting a time line for the 'story'.
The first time I saw KINGKENNEDY on a big screen I knew it would make a fantastic documentary feature for the cinema. But even more importantly, it is a historic document with an evergreen quality beyond measure. It's a film that will sell over and over again through the years on television, cable and DVD and.......on whatever new media is invented over the next so many years! I have been in film marketing and sales since 1971 and to see something so readily marketable in all media is always a mouth watering prospect.MIKE S
Well...... in my humble opinion this film is a vitally informative political STATEMENT that will, if not change the audiences opinion of American politics and the meaning of the word DEMOCRACY, it will certainly make the audience question the system that we have all blindly believed in for decades. If we wish to continue living as free thinking people then this film must be seen. In the current climate with conspiracy theories rife in the public domain and within politics itself, it is crucial that the political 'shenanigans' be given a stage. This is compulsive viewing. This is not your standard documentary. This is a political thriller made all the more chilling by the fact that it actually happened. KINGKENNEDY does not rely on the narrative from a ‘last heard on a Whale documentary' guest speaker, placing the film in a new genre. Think for yourself. Draw your own conclusions. Use your intellect. Your freedom depends on it.NIX F
I was very moved by your film and am convinced that a global audience will receive the soulful messages with equal enthusiasm. ... Good luck with this legendary project.TINE W
It was better than I could have imagined and thank you for letting me see it!PAUL S
I was so busy yesterday I didn't have a moment to let you know how much I enjoyed and was moved by the film. It was riveting and has left me thinking about it a lot. I think you have done a magnificent job, especially so in the second half when it all weaves together. At the end I was exhausted emotionally and could only come out with ‘WOW!' I must go down to the bookshop and find some books on the period. I am now hooked.BELINDA H
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