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The Boston Globe


Critic’s Notebook

Gift from daughter to mother: ‘Ethel’

A private Kennedy’s life is captured in personal documentary film

PARK CITY, Utah - Only in the parallel universe known as the Sundance Film Festival can you see Taylor Swift holding hands with Ethel Kennedy.

A small army of Kennedys descended upon this ski town-turned-indie film nexus yesterday for the premiere of “Ethel,’’ documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy’s love letter to her mother. From Ethel Kennedy herself, diminutive and cheerful at 83, to Bobby Kennedy Jr., his siblings, their spouses, cousins, and grandchildren, the clan turned the packed red carpet outside the MARC theater into a transplanted Hyannisport. Paparazzi cameras flashed hectically, whirred faster when festival founder Robert Redford arrived to chat with the film’s subject, then went into a seizure-inducing blitzkrieg when Swift turned up.

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