The Washington Post: Wife of RFK takes spotlight in daughter’s Sundance Film Festival documentary ‘Ethel’

January 26th, 2012

The Washington Post
January 26, 2012


PARK CITY, Utah — Ethel Kennedy prefers coming to the Sundance Film Festival when she’s not the star of a movie.

She has been to Sundance in the past to see films by her daughter, documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy. This time, the widow of U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy is the focus of her daughter’s film, the Sundance premiere “Ethel.”

Ethel Kennedy said she likes it better coming to Sundance “just to see Rory’s films.”

Though initially reluctant when her daughter proposed the documentary, Ethel Kennedy opens up on screen with candid recollections about the family, including falling in love at first sight with her future husband on a ski trip to Canada.

“He was standing in front of an open fireplace,” she said in an interview alongside her daughter. “I walked in the door and turned and saw him, and I thought, ‘whoa.’”

In the film, Ethel Kennedy discusses campaigning for her husband and his brother, President John F. Kennedy, the similarities and differences between her family and the Kennedy clan, and raising 11 children after her husband’s assassination in 1968.

At the time, she was pregnant with Rory Kennedy, her youngest child, who was born six months after her father’s death.


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