Kevin Rafferty

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For the Donegal player, see Kevin Rafferty (Gaelic footballer).
Kevin Rafferty
Born 1948
New York
Nationality American
Occupation Cinematographer
Film director
Film producer
Known for Documentary films

Kevin Rafferty is an American documentary film cinematographer, director, and producer, best known for his 1982 documentary The Atomic Cafe.[1][2]


Rafferty studied architecture at Harvard and film at the California Institute of the Arts.[3] He helped teach the craft of filmmaking to Michael Moore during the production of Roger & Me in 1989, and Moore has acknowledged Rafferty's influence on his own filmmaking. Rafferty teamed up with his brother Pierce and Jayne Loader to produce the cult classic documentary film The Atomic Cafe.[4] He is the director, producer, editor and cinematographer of many documentary projects, including Blood in the Face, The War Room, Feed, and The Last Cigarette.[3][5] His latest project is Harvard Beats Yale 29-29.[6]

Rafferty is a nephew of US former First Lady Barbara Bush, and a cousin of former US President George W. Bush.[7]


As director or producer[edit]

As cinematographer[edit]

As himself[edit]


Thom Powers of Harvardwood writes that Rafferty is "renowned for his wit and fresh perspectives on American culture".[5] His various films have received positive reception. Of Hurry Tomorrow, Rafferty's documentary indictment of a California State psychiatric hospital, Colin Bennet of The Age wrote "Its anger and courage are the kind that lead to reform".[8] St. Petersberg Times film critic Tom Sabulis wrote of The Atomic Cafe that it was "a stunning compilation of U.S. government propaganda of the 40s and 50s" whose "impact is both nostalgic and frightening".[9]

Michael Atkinson of IFC calls Rafferty's latest, Harvard Beats Yale 29-29, "a hypnotic pleasure,"[6] and Fast Company calls it an "engrossing documentary" which was "the best sports film we've seen in years",[10] and Manhola Dargis of New York Times writes "while it seems absurd to include such a picayune event in the annals, the filmmaker Kevin Rafferty makes the case for remembrance and for the art of the story in his preposterously entertaining documentary Harvard Beats Yale 29-29".[11]



  1. ^ "Kevin Rafferty". New York Times. Retrieved August 19, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Kevin Rafferty credits". Retrieved August 20, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Tie To Win: Kevin Rafferty On 'Harvard Beats Yale'". National Public Radio. February 12, 2009. Retrieved August 19, 2009. 
  4. ^ Wiener, Jon. "Project MUSE – Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies – The Omniscient Narrator and the Unreliable Narrator: The Case of Atomic Café" (PDF). Retrieved August 15, 2009.  (requires login)
  5. ^ a b Powers, Thom (September 5, 2008). "Harvardwood Heads To..."Harvard Beats Yale 29-29" at Toronto International Film Festival – Toronto". Harvardwood. Retrieved August 19, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Atkinson, Michael (July 28, 2009). "A Bell Jar Etude". IFC. Retrieved August 19, 2009. 
  7. ^ Goodman, Amy. Democracy Now, "Michael Moore on His Life, His Films and His Activism," September 6, 2010. Last accessed: February 20, 2011.
  8. ^ Bennett, Colin (August 17, 1979). "Cinema". The Age. Retrieved August 20, 2009. [dead link]
  9. ^ Sabulis, Tom (January 14, 1983). "Film's footage takes the measure of our nation's atomic propaganda". St. Petersberg Times. Retrieved August 20, 2009. [dead link]
  10. ^ "What a long, strange game it was". Fast Company. Retrieved August 19, 2009. 
  11. ^ Dargis, Manhola (November 16, 2008). "Back in 1968, When a Tie Was No Tie". New York Times. Retrieved August 20, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Robert Flaherty Award". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved August 20, 2009. 

External links[edit]