Ethel is a formidable woman: as the widow of Robert F Kennedy sits down to be interviewed by her daughter, the youngest of her 11 children, she gruffly declares, “All this introspection, I hate it!” And at least at the start of this film made by Rory Kennedy, we’re inclined to agree with Ethel, now 84. Gushing memories of “Mummy” and “Daddy”, home footage of the family larking about on the sun-kissed American East Coast – it all feels a bit too cosy. But as the Kennedys’ political travails take centre stage in US politics, the tragic significance of that family name turns this domestic portrait into a moving public elegy.


Film-maker Rory Kennedy explores the history of the American political dynasty her family created, using the testimony of her mother Ethel, the widow of former US attorney general Robert Kennedy. She recalls the assassinations of her brother-in-law John in 1963 and her husband five years later, and the film covers many of the defining moments of the 1960s, including the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War protests.

Cast & Crew

Contributor Ethel Kennedy
Director Rory Kennedy