November 19, 1990 12:00 PM

HBO (Tues., Nov. 20, 8 P.M. ET)

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This lovely tribute to Robert Francis Kennedy premieres on what would have been his 65th birthday. It blends newsreel and other footage of him as a public figure with previously unseen family home movies. Kennedy’s thoughtful manner and his principled convictions—particularly as regards social responsibility—stand in marked contrast to the direction that American politics has taken in the last decade.

Because of the documentary’s unusual tack of not using a narrator, it sometimes seems superficial or unhinged. But the portrait it paints of the man is surprisingly intimate. No matter what your political stripe, it’s difficult to watch this film without experiencing respect and a profound sense of loss.

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