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In Search of Kennedy - documentary - film review SIFF 2008
by Karen Pecota

Director Chuck Workman could not imagine directing, producing, writing or editing another film about President John F. Kennedy (JFK); until friend and producer Stephen J. Kern asked him to entertain the idea. Workman’s first impulse was to wonder what could be explored that would constructively add to the volumes of material documented. Workman discovered that what was missing was an overall look at him and how he fits into history. A deliberation of who JFK is and how he influences people today was Workman’s idea for his documentary In Search of Kennedy—three years in the making.  

Workman’s new insight and perspective into the life of JFK plays into the current political scene, especially, in view of the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. Kennedy was a man of many facets so Workman divided his findings into five specific parts: The Myth, The President, The Present, The World, and The Legacy. Workman called upon over fifty luminaries to give homage or critique. Among those were moving interviews with Senator Edward Kennedy, the current Mayor of Berlin, Michael Moore, Pres. Bill Clinton, Chris Mathews, Ted Sorensen and Garrison Keillor. In addition, Workman interviewed dozens of ordinary citizens whose words were just as powerful. Workman’s “quick-cut contemporary style of evocative music” was creatively interwoven into his illuminating five-part documentary. It was punctuated by the narrations performed by actors Alec Baldwin and Elizabeth Peña and the captivating film footage. Workman’s fresh and inspiring journey through In Search of Kennedy questions whether JFK can truly be found today.