“John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls” is a pre-obituary for one of the most fascinating, maddening, and respected lawmakers in American history.
Directed and produced by Peter Kunhardt and his sons, George and Teddy – a team responsible for other politically themed HBO documentaries, including one about Ted Kennedy that debuted as the senator was battling a brain tumor — “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls” arrives as McCain is publicly contending with the same affliction.
It’s a movie that comes across as a final statement about who McCain was and how he would like to be remembered. As such, not surprisingly, it treats the maverick senator from Arizona with reverence and respect.
But to its credit, the documentary does not gloss over McCain shortcomings, nor the errors he has made during his decades of public service as a politician and a soldier who famously became a prisoner of war in Vietnam for five-and-a-half years.
“John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls” premieres on HBO on Memorial Day.
Read the story at Vulture.
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