Special Screening of “ETHEL” at MOMA – Tuesday, December 4th

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The Common Good was proud to present a special screening of an extraordinary film, “ETHEL,” about the life and work of Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert F. Kennedy and, as the film proves, a force in her own right.

The screening took place Tuesday, December 4th, at the Museum of Modern Art and was followed by an informal conversation with the Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Rory Kennedy and others.

Ethel Kennedy film screening slider


    •      ”Rory Kennedy’s affectionate and revealing documentary about her mother, Ethel Kennedy.” San Francisco Chronicle
    •      “’Ethel’ – Rory Kennedy’s “lively and very loving tribute to her mother.”Boston Globe
    •      “’Ethel’ is a loving, touching and sometimes mischievous tribute to Ethel Kennedy, 84, by her youngest daughter, Rory Kennedy, a filmmaker. It is presented as a “private look inside a highly public life.”New York Times

More from the San Francisco Chronicle:

“You will come away from the film understanding a great deal about an extraordinary woman who played much more than just a supporting role in a significant period in our history. Perhaps more important, you will get a better sense of that historic period as well.

“That’s one of the reasons “Ethel” is an important film: We are hearing the voice of someone who was there and is still with us. Even viewers who were yet to be born when Robert Kennedy squared off against Jimmy Hoffa, when he brought the power of the federal government to bear against segregation in the South and when he defied the label of “carpetbagger” when he ran successfully for the Senate from New York will understand the dynamic of hope that the Kennedy mystique still carried, even after Dallas.

“American politics would become a much more cynical business after Robert Kennedy’s death, especially by the early ‘70s, with the stain left by the Watergate break-in and the Nixon resignation. Many lost degrees of hope as the years went on, but one woman never has – not because she’s covered her eyes to reality but because she’s a survivor.”



Ethel Skakel Kennedy was born on April 11, 1928, in Chicago, Illinois to coal magnate George Skakel, a Protestant, and his devoutly Catholic wife, Ann Brannack Skakel. Ethel’s father, George Sr., started work as an eight dollars a week railroad clerk. He, along with some co-workers, built a small coal and coke business into a diversified privately owned enterprise, the Great Lakes Coal & Coke Co., which eventually became Great Lakes Carbon Corporation. As a result, the Skakels became extremely wealthy.In 1934, when Ethel was five years old, the family moved east, finally settling in Greenwich, Connecticut in 1936 where her father purchased a three-story, thirty-one room English country manor house on Lake Avenue where she was raised with her six siblings. Ethel attended the all-girls Greenwich Academy in Greenwich, and Convent of the Sacred Heart in the Bronx. In September 1945, Ethel began her education at Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart. It was here that she was introduced to Jean Kennedy with whom she became fast friends and eventually roommates. – See the official Ethel website for more. [here]


Robert Francis Kennedy was born on November 20, 1925, in Brookline, Massachusetts, the seventh child in the closelyKNIT and competitive family of Rose and Joseph P. Kennedy. “I was the seventh of nine children,” he later recalled, “and when you come from that far down you have to struggle to survive.”He attended Milton Academy and, after wartime service in the Navy, received his degree in government from Harvard University in 1948. He earned his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School three years later. Perhaps more important for his education was the Kennedy family dinner table, where his parents involved their children in discussions of history and current affairs. “I can hardly remember a mealtime,” Robert Kennedy said, “when the conversation was not dominated by what Franklin D. Roosevelt was doing or what was happening in the world.” 

 – See the official Ethel website for more. [here]


Co-founder and President of Moxie Firecracker Films for over 12 years, Emmy Award-winning® filmmaker Rory Kennedy has produced more than 35 celebrated documentaries, covering topics from the global AIDS crisis, human rights, domestic abuse, poverty, drug addiction, and political corruption. Kennedy’s films have appeared on HBO, PBS, Lifetime Television, A&E, Court TV, The Oxygen Network and The Learning Channel. In 1999, Kennedy’s HBO film American Hollow, the story of a tight-knit Appalachian family, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, launching an acclaimed and prolific career and earning Kennedy the first of many Emmy Award® nominations.  – See the official Ethel website for more. [here]

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