Beauty. Idealism. End of optimism. Moving forward from dichotomies. Better future. New sort of leadership. Hope. Dreams killed with one simple gunshot. All those things popped into my mind yesterday when watching Emilio Estevez's new film Bobby. Estevez shows the hope that Robert F. Kennedy managed to generate in the United States of 1968. The film concentrates on the guests and staff of the Californian Ambassador Hotel which was the campaign headquarters of Kennedy's presidential bid and also the place where Kennedy was shot. The cast is amazing ranging from Elijah Wood and (in this role) fantastic Demi Moore to Laurence Fishburne and Anthony Hopkins.
I must confess that I did not know too much of Robert F. Kennedy. To put it bluntly, I knew that he was the younger brother of JFK and was assassinated in 1968.
Some weeks back ago I read an article from The Guardian on the film with a headline stating that in Bobby Kennedy we all saw ourselves at our best. Now I understand what the editor meant.
Estevez has selected a popular methodology in today's film, i.e. rolling in a gigantic amount of characters which together build a picture of the main person who is only shown by using archive footage. And although the film has Democratic Party and anti-Bush straight-forwardly stapled all over it, it is worth seeing. Comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam are very obvious. One of the characters describes Kennedy's importance beautifully in an America tangled in Vietnam:"After Dr King (Martin Luther King Jr just killed shortly before) there is only Bobby. There is no one else." It leaves one thinking who nowadays could grow into such a role. I don't see that happening with Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.
The film made me cry. It reminds one of what political leadership is at its best. It mobilises people, it creates a "Can Do" culture and - as the The Guardian wrote - it brings out of the best in all of us. Leaders are needed to convince us that we need to change but still the work needs to be done by us.
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