In the late 1950’s, seeking to invigorate the American documentary format, Robert Drew, assembled an amazing team—including such eventual nonfiction luminaries as Richard Leacock, D. A. Pennebaker, and Albert Maysles—that would transform documentary cinema. In 1960, the group was granted direct access to John F. Kennedy, filming him on the campaign trail and eventually in the Oval Office. This resulted in three films of remarkable, behind-closed-doors intimacy—Primary, Adventures on the New Frontier, and Crisis—and, following the president’s assassination, the poetic short Faces of November.
CRISIS (1963, 53 min.) features both Kennedy brothers trying to maneuver around the University of Alabama integration crisis, with Governor George Wallace blocking the doors.
FACES OF NOVEMBER (1963, 12 min.) is a simple, wordless portrait of a traumatized nation.
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