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Ethel (2012)

A documentary on Ethel Kennedy that provides an insider's view of a political dynasty, including her life with Robert F. Kennedy and the years following his death when she raised their eleven children on her own.




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Nominated for 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 6 wins. See more awards »
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Credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ralph Bunche ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Cesar Chavez ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Jimmy Hoffa ...
Himself (archive footage)
Herself (archive footage)
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend ...
Courtney Kennedy ...
Herself (archive footage) (as Jaqueline Kennedy)
Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Kennedy ...
Joseph P. Kennedy ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)


ETHEL is a 95 minute feature-length documentary about the life of Ethel Kennedy. Scheduled for broadcast on HBO in 2012, the film was produced and directed by Mrs. Kennedy's Emmy Award-winning daughter, Rory Kennedy. An intimate family portrait, ETHEL includes a lengthy interview with Mrs. Kennedy, as well as interviews with seven of her children, providing unique insight into her family's story, her life with Robert F. Kennedy, and the years following his death when she raised their eleven children on her own. The film is an insider's view of a political dynasty, a personal story interwoven with some of the most important moments of the 20th century. The film also features a rich treasure trove of never-before-seen footage from the Kennedy family's private collection. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

12 April 2013 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Ethel Kennedy  »

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A great anchor for her family
26 September 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is an amazing documentary, based on an interview with Ethel Kennedy, the wife of Robert Kennedy. It has extensive film footage of the public and private lives of the Kennedy family, particularly Robert and Ethel's; however, there are many views of the extended family. The interviewer is Ethel and Robert's youngest child, Rory. She does an excellent job of letting the viewer see her mother as a woman who has lived a full life with all its pain and joy. I never really knew Ethel Kennedy, although she was always a fixture in the Kennedy clan. After seeing this movie, I was moved by her honesty, her lack of pretense and her love for Bobby. She laughed at her hijinks, throwing a party for President Kennedy where the entire Cabinet ended up in the pool, or taking off on a scooter and crashing it during a trip to Rome. She talked about their two families and how they got along very well, despite being totally different. After Bobby's death, Ethel raised her children to be acutely aware of the poverty and hardship in the country and how important it is to work to overcome this divide. Her frankness was disarming. When asked about Bobby's climb of Mount Kennedy, named after his brother President Kennedy, she said, "He hated it". But he felt it was a challenge he had to take on. It was also clear that Ethel's faith is very deep and that she sees the tragic events as moments that all must encounter. In the meantime, we do what we can because we never know how long we have. Ethel Kennedy has had a long run and has done very well coping with her roller coaster life. After watching this documentary, I felt great admiration for her. I learned much about Ethel and her late husband, who I have always admired. I would gladly see this film again.

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