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Taking on the Kennedys

PBS Premiere: May 28, 1996


It's baptism by fire when a political underdog takes on the closest thing to American royalty. Joshua Seftel gives us a gritty behind-the-scenes look at neophyte Kevin Vigilante's campaign against Patrick Kennedy for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The New England physician learns the hard way how modern politics are fought in this Rhode Island race. (60 minutes)

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TAGS: kennedy, politics

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Film Information

Taking on the Kennedys (60 min.)

Premiere Date: May 28, 1996

Streaming Dates: Expired

Photos: Download Here

Filmmaker: Joshua Seftel Bio | Interview


Joshua Seftel
Joshua Seftel

"It's ... about what I observed of the state of electoral politics in general — the slow corruption, the role of money, name recognition, and negative ads.”

— Joshua Seftel, Filmmaker


Critical Acclaim

If you want to understand American politics, watch this film.”

Chicago Tribune

Seftel trailed Vigilante with a Hi-8 handycam, recording in telling detail what happens to those who dare challenge the myth and machinery of Camelot. As Seftel says in his introductory voice-over, the good doctor 'was about to get the political education of a lifetime.'”

— Rick Marin, Newsweek

Taking on the Kennedys was one of the top 10 television shows of 1996.”

Time Magazine

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