i-am-jfk-jrNew to DVD this week: I AM JFK JR

Derik Murray’s candid portrait of America’s “crown prince” made its debut on Spike earlier this month. It was followed the next day with a VOD release.

The latest in Murray’s line of I AM profiles of late celebrities, previously having covered the likes of Chris Farley, Evel Knievel, and Steve McQueen, hews close to his established formula. He gathers those close to his subject – in this case friends rather than any of the private Kennedy clan – to reveal his personality, ambitions, and achievements, helped to a great extent by existing archival footage. With a charismatic, attractive figure who was covered by the media in all facets of his life starting at his very birth, the director has a lot with which to work. Still, the implication of a tell-all personal confessional that is attached to the title seems ill at ease with someone like JFK Jr, particularly as the film addresses the weight of the world’s attention – and expectations – given his influential family. Leaving that quibble aside, Murray treats Kennedy with respect, demonstrating pointedly his desire to become his own man, out from under the shadow cast by his father and JFK’s Camelot. With interviewees here offering speculation about the political career the district attorney and GEORGE magazine founder might have had, however, the sense of a life cut short and potential unrealized linger over the proceedings, giving viewers much food for thought.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Recommendations, Releases

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