JFK: The Last Speech: Film Screening and Discussion


 

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Film Screening and Discussion of: JFK: The Last Speech

Of President John F. Kennedy, many stories have been told. Few are less known or more revealing than his friendship with America’s most celebrated poet. Yet it was Robert Frost that Kennedy made the subject of one of his most famous speeches—just weeks before his assassination.

JFK The Last Speech explores the dramatic relationship between these two seminal Americans, reaching its tragic climax in a surprising encounter with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev at the height of the Cold War. At its center is an extraordinary speech about poetry and power that inspires a group of college classmates to alter the course of their lives.

A pre-screening talk with Executive Producers Neil and Judy Bicknell will be presented at 5 p.m., followed by the movie at 5:20 p.m. Immediately after the film, dinner and a talkback session with the Bicknells will be held at Alberto’s Ristorante, Main Street, Hyannis.

Proceeds to benefit the JFK Hyannis Museum Foundation scholarship fund for Cape & Islands high school students, and Reunion ’64 Inc. Hosted at the JFK Hyannis Museum in the Scudder Family Center for Civic Engagement.

JFK: The Last Speech

In this era of political tension, when civic culture is fractured and when the value of the liberal arts is questioned, a message from 1963 has particular resonance.

Twenty-seven days before he was assassinated, President Kennedy came to Amherst College to honor the poet Robert Frost in a speech Stewart Udall called “the most majestic” of Kennedy’s career. He spoke of the relationship of poetry to power and of a view shared with Frost that power must be exercised, but wisely — tempered by a moral restraint inspired by the arts and a liberal arts education. And, he spoke of the obligation of those “given a running start in life” to serve the public interest.

The award-winning documentary, JFK: The Last Speech, communicates the impact of this message through the stories of Amherst alumni and students and reflections by prominent scholars and political observers. Produced by an award winning filmmaker, this film will ignite public discourse on enduring values and on our shared responsibility for the public interest. It is a call to action to rebuild our civic sphere — infused with broad sympathy, understanding, and compassion.

 

Winner of film festival awards including “Best Documentary,” “Best Feature,” and “People’s Choice.”

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