The story of the assassination of U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who was shot in the early morning hours of June 5, 1968 in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California, and twenty-two people in the hotel, whose lives were never the same.
Tuesday, June 4, 1968: the California presidential primary. As day breaks Robert F. Kennedy arrives at the Ambassador Hotel; he'll campaign, then speak to supporters at midnight. To capture the texture of the late 1960s, we see vignettes at the hotel: a couple marries so he can avoid Vietnam, kitchen staff discuss race and baseball, a man cheats on his wife, another is fired for racism, a retired hotel doorman plays chess in the lobby with an old friend, a campaign strategist's wife needs a pair of black shoes, two campaign staff trip on LSD, a lounge singer is on the downhill slide. Through it all, we see and hear RFK calling for a better society and a better nation. Written by
When Jimmy and Cooper are sitting in the coffee shop, Cooper holds up the camera and the lever on the bottom is pulled back. Then, when the shot comes back to them, the lever is forward and Jimmy reaches over and pulls it back. See more »
Do we know anything yet?
We got men on the sixth floor going from room to room. You the manager?
Paul Ebbers. And the bungalows?
We're checking them now.
Roger that. It's a false alarm. False alarm. I wouldn't want to be you today.
Occupational hazard. We'll open the cafe. You or you men want coffee, a hot breakfast, it's on the house. Thanks.
It'll take us a while to wrap this up, but I'll let the boys know.
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"Bobby" brings you back (if you were ever there) to the 60s, when those who protested the Vietnam War and racial injustice were motivated from their heart and torn by anger and grief in their efforts to change both. Yes the ensemble characters in the film are quite ordinary and their (sometimes) tawdry or pathetic shortcomings all too obvious and easy to sneer at, yet who could not recognize themselves in one or more of these vignettes. Robert Kennedy's assassination was felt by those who cared about him or his mission to the presidency as a deep wound to our own vision of a more compassionate and just America. The pettiness and simplicity of the characters in this movie are expertly directed to reveal our own pettiness and let us identify with them, if not consciously, then unconsciously. Remember, the top Hollywood actors in this movie were paid basic union scale (virtually free for them) so this was made for love. Our own little soap operas are put into such deep perspective that when he is killed, so were we, or at least the film lets you feel that. You find yourself loving this man, Robert Kennedy, for what he stood for and what he said during his candidacy, which is brilliantly threaded throughout the movie in his own words. The humanity you discover in him is of course your own humanity and isn't it refreshing to cry for yourself and your lost dreams as you cry for his.
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