The Political Life of Allard K. Lowenstein
Houston Film Festival
American Film Festival
Certificate of Merit
Chicago Film Festival
When the former US Congressman and US Representative to the UN Commission on Human Rights Lowenstein was shot and killed in his office in New York City, Mike Farrell and Julie Thompson joined forces to make a documentary about Lowenstein's political life. Citizen earned the Gold Award at the Houston International Film Festival, Red Ribbon Award at the American Film Festival, Certificate of Merit at the Chicago International Film Festival.
In chronicling the career of political activist and former New York Congressman Allard K. Lowenstein, this documentary vividly recreates the civil rights and antiwar struggles that raged through the last two decades of American history, in the process giving us a moving and inspiring portrait of a man who played a key role in organizing those movements, until his untimely shooting death in March 1980 by a former campaign worker who was subsequently declared insane.
Combining archival footage and photographs with over two dozen interviews, the film traces Lowenstein's life from his formative childhood influences to the political causes that motivated his adult life, including: his lifelong involvement beginning in the 50's with human rights issues in South Africa; his efforts in the early 60's in the South in voter registration campaigns and other civil rights struggles; his opposition to U.S, involvement in Vietnam, which included founding the "Dump Johnson" movement and becoming a principal organizer of Eugene McCarthy's Presidential campaign; his 1968 election to Congress and his subsequent career in electoral politics in which he sought to extend the function of office beyond the narrow concerns of ward politics and vested interests; and his work with Ambassador Andrew Young and the Human Rights Commission at the United Nations.
In addition to scenes of Lowenstein himself, and stirring newsreel footage of political events throughout the 60's and 70's, the film features interviews with over thirty of his friends, family members and political associates, including journalist David Halberstam, Senator Edward Kennedy, former SNCC activist Ivanhoe Donaldson, Rick Weidman of the Vietnam Veterans of America, William F. Buckley, Jr., Aaron Henry, President of the Mississippi NAACP, community activist Sam Brown, and Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary. "Citizen" highlights the importance and efficacy of Al Lowenstein's belief in the need to involve people in the shaping of their lives and influencing society around them. The film is a compelling illustration of his contention that "one person can make a difference."
Allard Lowenstein in the News - 2018
The RFK Tapes, hosted by Zac Stuart-Pontier (Crimetown) and Bill Klaber (author, Shadow Play), is an audio documentary series that takes a new look at the 1968 assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. For the past fifty years, authorities have claimed that the case was open and shut. Sirhan Sirhan was captured at the scene, gun in hand. He admitted to the crime and is serving a life sentence. But some say there’s evidence of a larger conspiracy.
Episodes 2 and 3 chronicle Lowenstein's inquiry into RFK's assassination.
In this episode, Allard K. Lowenstein encourages Senator Robert F. Kennedy to run for president but ends up wheeling him into the morgue. Years later, when he picks up the autopsy report, Lowenstein is stunned at what he finds. Through intimate private recordings, we follow Lowenstein as he begins questioning the official version of his friend’s murder.
In this episode, as Allard K. Lowenstein continues his investigation into Senator Robert F. Kennedy's murder, he enlists the help of Paul Schrade, one of the surviving shooting victims in the case. Together, they force a reexamination of the evidence collected by the LAPD in an effort to determine, once and for all, if more than one gun was firing in the kitchen pantry.