Searching for Camelot: The New Frontier

In the dark days after President John F. Kennedy’s murder, did you ever wonder what was going on with Jackie and Robert as they grieved over the greatest murder mystery in our history?

In this film we try to understand why Jackie used the Camelot mythology as a metaphor for her husband’s presidency. We search for the reasons why Robert ran for the Presidency even when he knew ‘there was a gun between me and the White House”. In our search for Camelot, we discover an epic time in our history full of blood, sweat, tears and a romance that will last forever.

Searching for Camelot “The New Frontier” 

John and Jackie 

The stars were aligned for Jacqueline and John to become the first lady and president of the United States of America. They were swept in by the change that is often needed. Not only did John represent many of the servicemen from World War Two who went on to form the greatest generation in modern history. Jackie represented, in her own way, the women who wanted to be more than house wives. We all wanted to be like them. 

What is history but a fable agreed upon?

– Napoleon Bonaparte 

As the Queen flees the Capital to protect her children, the Prince regroups and collects his thoughts about the murder of his brother. He keeps track of the new King and makes sure he doesn’t stray too far from his brother’s policies. When the new King and the Prince are not getting along, the Prince flees the Capital for the biggest city in the Kingdom. There he plots his new quest to reclaim the Throne. 

This sounds like the type of history we read about in books or see in plays and movies. Writers throughout history have tried to portray the unique personalities who play in these games of thrones. Human nature has not changed. In this film we try to show that the quest for power is still full of dark and evil games. 

I remember the 60’s because my parents always watched the news shows like Cronkite or Huntley/Brinkley. Little did they know that I was down in the finished basement with a large clunker of a TV set watching both sports and the news shows. I was as interested in sports as I was in politics because they were games played by powerful people who won and lost with dignity or dishonor. I followed the 60’s as my idealism turned to anger. Our dreams and hopes seemed to end after RFK’s death. After years of asking people, I sensed that the country was rocked by JFK, shocked by Martin Luther King, and finally succumbed to despair with the murder of RFK.

The idealism of the early 60’s became the stoic reality of the late 60’s where idealism met the new realism. We all knew that it was better to go underground and assimilate in the subculture which ironically became mainstream within the next decades. We became masters of disguise with any “radical” thoughts. Who wanted to get beat up or go to jail or even worse be killed? That was the new realism for most of us 60’s kids. 

From my perspective today, the story of John, Jackie and Bobby falls somewhere between a Shakespearian tragedy and a Greek tragedy. Were their lives a story of fate dictated by their father and, in Jackie’s case, her mother? Did the Kennedy brothers exhibit a hubris that lead to their death? Was Their fatal flaw their attempts to challenge the gods of power in America and the World? 

Is it a coincidence that two Boston bred Catholics with a liberal philosophy were murdered as they attempted to change the way we governed and the way we lived? In either case, I hope we can agree it was an American Tragedy of epic proportions. It is as contemporary as Shakespeare and as timeless as the Greeks. And I hope we can still dream about the days of Camelot.