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Rory Kennedy’s HBO Documentary “Ethel” Beautifully Blends American History, Politics, and Family

Rory Kennedy the youngest of Ethel and Robert’s 11 is no new name to documentary filmmaking.  Her diverse social issue infused credits include, American Hollow (1999) about a struggling Appalachian family, Indian Point: Imagining the Unimaginable (2004) which takes a “what-if” look at the catastrophic consequences of a radioactive release at the Indian Point Energy Center, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib (2007) an examination of the events of the 2004 Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse scandal, and The Fence (La Barda) (2010) showcased by NHFF, about the US-Mexico border fence, barely scratch the surface of her projects.

Kennedy’s latest doc, Ethel, takes a break from the surging social and political issues, and for the first time gets up-close and personal with her own family.  Focusing on her mother, Kennedy documents Ethel’s journey from childhood, to her courtship with Robert, through his assassination, and trials of being a single mother of 11 while continuing to be a human and civil rights activist.  The film allows a deeply personal look at the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond through the eyes, mind, and soul of a woman with front row seats to the major events of present history. Full of family photos, home movies, news footage, and interviews Kennedy produces an enthralling and private look into American History.

The documentary premiered at Sundance in January, and will air on HBO later this year.

Rory Kennedy talks Ethel: [youtube] [/youtube]


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