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Summary

Most definitely an unauthorized biography, Cuban agit-prop filmmaker Santiago Alvarez scavenges imagery from LIFE magazine, cowboy movies and Playboy to lampoon Lyndon B. Johnson’s tyranny. The assassinations of John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert and Martin Luther King, Jr. are all laid at Johnson’s doorstep. Delivered with Alvarez’s characteristically incendiary montage, LBJ pivots between ludicrous psychodrama and a sophisticated portrait of the Black Power movement that gets at the rhetorical power of leaders like King and Stokely Carmichael. Fascinating as an outsider’s view of a fractured period of American political life, LBJ remains a vivid embodiment of the internationalist aspirations of the '60s left.

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Cinematography