Ethel – HBO
Ms. Kennedy found some peaceful relief
Director Rory Kennedy, left, and Ethel Kennedy appear onstage during HBO’s TCA panel for “Ethel” at the Beverly Hilton hotel on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)
By: Valerie Milano
Beverly Hills, CA (Hollywood Today
) 10/22/12 – “I didn’t reveal anything new in terms of what it said about my mother, because, you know, throughout my life my mother has been somebody who speaks truth to power very freely and openly and often. And you know, in a way, that totally inspires me,” explained Rory.
For the first time in the long list of films about the Kennedy family and events that shaped our history, HBO presented an inside look at Ethel Kennedy with personal interviews, home movies and photographs. This was her first extended interview in over twenty years and examined the Kennedy clan from the inside.
Ethel Skakel, now a lovely 84 years old, married Robert Kennedy in 1950. She discovered she enjoyed the life of public service became happily involved in John Kennedy’s campaigns.
The couple went on to have 11 children and youngest, Rory created the film. “There were stories that I hadn’t heard before. I was initially resistant to doing this idea this film, and Sheila Nevins at HBO had approached me to make the film about my mother. And I was I didn’t really want to do it, mostly for personal reasons. And I didn’t want to ask my mother and my siblings to kind of go through some of the difficult moments that have been part of our history.”
Rory finally acquiesced with her mother’s permission and found it to be “one of the great gifts for me is having now done this, is being able to sit down with my mother to do an interview with her over the course of five days and with all of my siblings and be able to ask them every question that I’ve ever wanted to ask. There were a lot of things that I did learn along the way that were really valuable to me, both about my mother as well as about them. So it was a real gift, and I’m so grateful that I had that experience.”
The film is an affectionate look at a feisty, social-minded woman who managed to persevere through the triumphs and as well as the tragedies, a story of a lifetime narrated by her children, as she is somewhat reluctant to talk about herself. Ms. Kennedy energetically, on the other hand, discusses her work with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and various projects.
After the death of her husband, Ms. Kennedy found some peaceful relief, “when we lost Bobby, I would wake up in the morning and think, he’s okay. He’s in heaven, and he’s with Jack, and a lot of my brothers and sisters, and my parents. So it made it very easy to get through the day thinking he was okay.”
When Rory asks her mother what she got out of doing the film she replied, “Well, how amazingly brilliant and fun to be with you are.”
“Ethel” debuted earlier last week and continues to air on HBO.
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