Chappaquiddick movie


Here’s a question: I’m tempted to watch this movie, Chappaquiddick, currently on Netflix. It is said to basically destroy the reputation of Ted Kennedy, due to his self-centered behavior relating to the death of a woman. But is this detraction? Would watching it involve the sin of gossip or detraction? Especially considering that Kennedy is no longer alive to defend himself.
I don’t ever ask the “is this a sin?” question, but this seems murky to me.



It wasn’t as though the events in the movie weren’t already known. They derailed his presidential quest although not his political career as a whole. He’s tried to defend the actions in the past.

One thing that was striking about the movie was how people were so willing to bend to the will of elected officials.



The movie does not destroy Ted’s reputation.

Ted did that all by himself.

Chappaquidick was pushed under the rug, and later he was treated by many as if it had never happened. And given the amount of time that has passed (and the multitude of questions that never seemed to be addressed), bringing back the truth and the reality of that night might be instructional to those who, never having been around at that time, might consider him to be some sort of shinning hero.

I am not going to go see it - I was 24 when it happened, and my memory has not dimmed to the point that I would think anything of him except a person of such great privilege that he could skate the repercussions.

If you are familiar with the accident and all that surrounded it (and all that managed to not surround it), then I guess you have to weigh the value of a movie, which has to make up details for what has never been presented vs. not seeing it.

I don’t hate Teddy. I pitied him. It (the movie) is irrelevant to me, but it may not be to you. Seeing it is no different particularly, in my opinion, than sitting down and reading a book of a blow-by-blow accounting, for example, of the workings of one of the concentration camps and death chambers from Germany.

You may be thinking of gossip rather than detraction; his failure to address the facts of that night are a matter of public record, so it is not detraction any more than reading about an errant priest caught in a sex abuse scandal in the paper. Both are the truth, and there is reason to think we have a right to the truth (as in, the Church is being called to transparency).

to make a long story short, years ago I assisted someone in buying a house; the transaction was very strange as I was made aware of facts which were criminal in nature concerning one of the buyers, but that person’s employer had chosen to not press criminal charges and the matter had been resolved. Telling anyone what I know, as it was not public knowledge (criminal complaints are public knowledge) would be detraction. It would also be gossip. Teddy was a national figure, and the accident was national news, except for all the facts which managed to be suppressed. I do not take a movie going over what is known to be detraction.



The man is dead, so I don’t think he’s going to be affected at this point one way or the other by people watching a movie about an event in his life. Also, as Mike said, most people who remember that era already know about Chappaquiddick and made up their mind on it long, long ago, so this is not new news to anybody except very young people. As for “destroying Ted’s reputation”, he had an extremely long career as a Senator and also almost took the Dem nomination away from a sitting Dem president (who then went on to lose). He seems to have had a pretty great life for somebody whose reputation was so “destroyed”.

I am not sure what the point was in releasing such a movie now. All the Kennedy politicians from that generation have passed away. The current up-and-coming Kennedy is Joe Kennedy III who I thought was a rising young Democratic star. Hollywood is presumably liberal and supports the Dems. If this film makes the Kennedys look bad, wouldn’t that backfire on Joe Kennedy III and possibly hurt the Dems’ chances in any upcoming elections in which he might run? Why would the Dems want that?



It doesn’t necessarily have to have some political endgame in mind. It’s a good, though extremely bleak, movie just as a movie.

Anyway, OP, depicting or commenting on the lives of people who chose to live in the public eye seems completely fine to me. I mean, am I not allowed to say something unkind about Hitler or Stalin? (Obviously not saying Ted Kennedy was a genodical tyrant, just saying that a literal understanding of detraction would produce some pretty crazy rules and basically mean you couldn’t study history.)



I see pretty much all movies coming out of Hollywood as having a political or cultural “message” these days. Especially a movie about politics.

However, that doesn’t keep anyone from enjoying the movie just as a movie, I guess.

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All movies have a political or cultural message - no-one sets out to make a movie that doesn’t have something to say for itself. Some are more obvious than others, or more preachy about it, or say more serious or more controversial things than others, that’s all.

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I started watching this, then quit about halfway. I just found myself getting confused as to what was historical fact, how much we actually know or don’t know, and trying to decide how much I trusted the filmmaker’s imagination at making up conversations.
Also, her hairstyle looked fairly wrong to me, compared to the photos of the young victim, and it made me not trust the other details of the movie. That may seem stupid, but it was indicative of perhaps something wrong about the way the filmmaker saw the time period.



This is generally my problem whenever I watch any historical movie. I always find myself running for some documentary from a reliable source, or to the Wikipage or spoiler page that discusses all the historical liberties and inaccuracies. Most of them have so many that I end up not being able to enjoy the film.

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Besides, you can still find the germ of an idea the Democrats would like without trying too hard. A rich, well connected man who suffers no consequences when the female victim is a relative nobody? Sounds like Trump. (Of course, it also sounds a lot like Bill Clinton…)



I was there for this and the media coverage. The local daily newspaper almost did a ‘happy dance’ over ‘this derails Ted as a Presidential candidate.’ They even added a few black and white cocktail glasses to the article. While President Kennedy’s assassination was well covered by historians and those who were there, the incident involving Ted Kennedy and a young lady who died, did not receive the in-depth coverage it should have. Wealth, position and other unrelated things were attached to what should have been a thorough crime scene investigation. Only one book was released with the details to form a conclusion.

In my view, the Kennedys were hated by some.



The Chappaquiddick movie is based, if memory serves, on a non-fiction book of the same name. Start there.



Apparently he has made some big assumptions that aren’t necessarily true. But I don’t always have time to read a book (or more than one) to prove or disprove a movie, that I don’t care about that much.



Ted Kennedy allowed a women to drown while he sobered up to avoid arrest; he waited until the next morning to call the police, while finding time to call his attorney and others within minutes of the incident. The police diver claimed he saw signs the woman had struggled to keep her face above the water while the car sank into the river, suggesting rescue might have been possible had he been summoned immediately.

“Self-centered” is far too nice a way of putting it.

No, the movie is not detraction. Detraction requires providing false witness, or making known private information. All the basic facts have been publicly known for decades.

Holding public figures accountable for their actions is not a sin.



This is not consistent with the evidence. But this story will endure regardless. Perhaps, one day, it will be otherwise. There were those that hated the Kennedys.



I watched the movie. No…it is not a sin of gossip or detraction. From what I read, the movie is accurate.

However, I would not recommend watching the movie. It was a huge downer that left me upset. Why ruin a perfectly good evening watching this movie? See one of the many movies about Spider-Man instead. Who doesn’t like Spider-Man?!

If you are interested in knowing more about Chappaquiddick, I’d recommend reading a well balanced non-fiction account of it.



I watched part of it. It’s interesting that they show the woman repeating the Our father and Hail Mary over and over as she struggled, while Kennedy is making irrelevant phone calls. It’s harrowing, but a downer as jack says.

On to Spiderman.



You sure have an eye-catching title for this thread!



Ted Kennedy was a public figure. Whatever happened with respect to his reputation, he did did it to himself.



I heard that it was originally going to star Natalie Wood as Mary Jo Kopechne, but she, well… you know…


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