Ethel (film)

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StarringEthel Kennedy
Music byMiriam Cutler
Release date
  • 2012 (2012)
CountryUnited States

Ethel is a 2012 documentary that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The subject of the documentary is Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert F. Kennedy. Ethel was scheduled to premiere on HBO later in 2012.[1]

Rory Kennedy, one of their 11 children, asked her mother Ethel if she would be a part of a documentary. Opening with Ethel's memories about her family,[2] the documentary has five days worth of interviews including Ethel's children. The Kennedy family is documented in home videos and pictures.[1]

Rory called her mother's life one of the great untold stories.[3]

The documentary is scored by Miriam Cutler.[4]


The documentary shows the story of a normal family guided by parents who are aware of the need to improve the world around them, and encourage their children to acknowledge those needs and do something about it. Scenes include the early years of the family, when they lived in the country. We see episodes of the History of the United States, and realize that the Kennedy parents and children were there.

After dealing with "Jack's" death, the director Rory Kennedy asks her mother about the death of her own father, which occurred when Ethel was expecting her. Ethel can hardly speak, and the same happens to the children, who are now grown men and women. There are scenes of the funerals, and miles of railway surrounded by people wanting to say goodbye.

After the funeral, the life of public service continued, and Ethel became an executor of her and her husband's vision. At home, she teaches her children sports, as well as establishes discipline. She does not, however, take the credit for how the children turned out.

Now, over 40 years after Robert Kennedy's assassination, they continue to be a family.


  1. ^ a b Bryan Alexander (January 23, 2012). "HBO's 'Ethel' documentary is the talk of Sundance". USA Today. Indystar. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  2. ^ "RFK's wife stars in documentary". Columbus Dispatch. January 28, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  3. ^ "Wife of RFK takes spotlight in daughter's Sundance Film Festival documentary 'Ethel'". The Associated Press. Washington Post. January 26, 2008. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  4. ^ (January 2012). "Miriam Cutler on "Ethel"".

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