PRIMARY (Robert Drew, U.S.), and CRISIS: BEHIND A PRESIDENTIAL COMMITMENT (Robert Drew, U.S.). 105 minutes. Friday (April 25,) 9:15 pm, ROM. Rating: NNNNN
In honour of Richard Leacock receiving this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award, Hot Docs is screening eleven of the cinematographer’s films. These two, directed by Robert Drew, track John F. Kennedy through the trajectory of his presidency.
Primary follows the charismatic senator as he jockeys for the 1960 Democratic nomination with Hubert Humphrey; Crisis, at Camelot’s apex in 1963, positions itself in the Oval Office as a weary JFK and his brother Bobby grapple with George Wallace’s potentially explosive decision to bar two black students from the University of Alabama.
Crisply shot, expertly assembled, absolutely gripping stuff.