A Ripple of Hope
Unforgettable docu about RFK speech post-MLK assassination.
No reviews yet.Add your rating
No reviews yet.Add your rating
Common Sense is a nonprofit organization. Your purchase helps us remain independent and ad-free.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Ripple of Hope is an inspiring and deeply moving documentary about the speech Robert F. Kennedy gave in the inner city of Indianapolis, Indiana on the night Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. This documentary is a perfect counterpoint to much of what kids see today in political discourse, and is a shining example of what happens when one man shows empathy and appeals to our ideals rather than our cynicism and hatred. Overall, this is a must-see documentary about one of the greatest speeches in American history.
There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.
What's the Story?
On the night of April 4, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy was scheduled to give a speech in the inner city of Indianapolis, Indiana in support of his campaign for the presidency. That evening, he learned the horrible news that Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot and killed. As the African-American ghettos raged and rioted in anger over the news, many in RFK's staff, as well as the mayor of Indianapolis, told Kennedy to cancel the speech. Instead, Kennedy gave one of his greatest speeches, and one of the greatest speeches in American history: a plea for love and compassion over hatred and violence, a restatement of the ideals Dr. King practiced and preached, and a heart-wrenching statement of empathy as Kennedy discussed for the first time in public the pain he felt over the assassination of his older brother. As riots broke out in 76 cities throughout the United States, Indianapolis was spared, and people credit Kennedy's speech for preventing violence. This documentary captures this tumultuous time in American history.
Is It Any Good?
A RIPPLE OF HOPE is a truly unforgettable documentary about an extraordinary speech given in the midst of tumultuous events. Through archival footage and testimonials, what emerges here is a story of courage and a high-minded and sincere appeal to the American ideal at a time when it was easy to call such ideals into question. In an era of hyper-partisan battles and a media climate filled with incendiary pundits and demogogues, this documentary serves as a reminder of a time when one politician rose above the rhetoric and spoke from the heart, and instead of dividing people, he united those in attendance and prevented a riot from happening.
This documentary is a must-see for families interested in American history, and especially for kids and teens interested in public service as a possible career. Between families, it should inspire discussion about how politicians typically communicate their ideas (their aren't too many politicians these days quoting Aeschylus, for instance), as well as thoughts on the American Dream and what that means, as well as race and equality.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. What did you learn from this documentary about both of these men?
For parents (or grandparents) who lived through the tumultuous events of 1968, how does this documentary match up with your direct experience of these events?
In terms of music and fashion, our culture and media often looks back fondly on the 1960s, romanticizing the era as a kind of golden age. How does this documentary call such sentiment into question?
- On DVD or streaming: May 4, 2010
- Cast: Frank Mankiewicz, John Lewis, Robert F. Kennedy
- Director: Donald Boggs
- Studio: PBS
- Genre: Documentary
- Topics: Great Boy Role Models, History
- Character Strengths: Courage
- Run time: 54 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 25, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Eyes on the Prize
Award-winning history of the American Civil Rights movement.
Harlan County, USA
Riveting 1976 docu about striking miners has some violence.
Hearts and Minds
Provocative Vietnam War docu with violence, racial slurs.
For kids who love true stories
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate