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Arts & Culture

'Cinema of Truth' Was Born in 1960's 'Primary'

In 1960, a team of documentary filmmakers descended on the Wisconsin Democratic presidential primary in order to record the campaigning between John F. Kennedy and Hubert H. Humphrey. Politically, the results propelled Kennedy to the nomination. Artistically, the documentarians invented a new form.

Using technology that made cameras lighter and sound equipment more portable, the documentarians took a "fly-on-the-wall approach" in a style that would come to be called cinema verite.

We use the occasion of the current Wisconsin primary to talk about D.A. Pennebaker, Albert Maysles and Robert Drew and their 1960 collaboration Primary.

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