Democratic Party (U.S.), Elections -- United States, Humphrey, Hubert H. (Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978, Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963, Political campaigns -- United States, Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 1960, Primaries -- United States, Primaries -- Wisconsin


(Primary), (The living camera)

  • Introduction

    Senior Lecturer Emerita in the Department of Film and Media at UC Berkeley and author of Closely Watched Films: An Introduction to the Art of Narrative Film Technique.

A cinema-verité treatment of John F. Kennedy’s campaign against Hubert Humphrey during the 1960 primary race, Primary ranks among the most influential documentaries of the postwar period. In its Independent Film Award Citation of 1961, the committee noted that the filmmakers “have caught the scenes of real life with unprecedented authenticity, immediacy and truth . . . We see Primary as a revolutionary step and a breaking point in the recording of reality in cinema.” Fifty years later, Richard Brody wrote in the New Yorker: “If Kennedy’s election was the first political earthquake of the sixties, the filming of his campaign . . . was its cinematic counterpart.”

  • Richard Leacock
  • Albert Maysles
  • D. A. Pennebaker
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 16mm
  • 54 mins
  • Janus Films/Criterion Collection

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Filmography : D.A. Pennebaker (filmography), D. A. Pennebaker

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