The Woods Hole Film Festival, together with the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, will present a special event screening of the documentary film LETTERS TO JACKIE: REMEMBERING PRESIDENT KENNEDY, Oct. 19 in Mashpee.
The film by Academy Award and Emmy Winner filmmaker Bill Couturie is based on the 2010 book by college professor and historian Ellen Fitzpatrick. Bill Couturie will participate in a Q&A following the screening.
When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated fifty years ago on November 22,1963, the world came to a standstill as the nation grieved for a leader whose promise of a brighter future was cut tragically short.
Within the days and weeks following, Jacqueline Kennedy received more than 800,000 letters from the public offering their heartfelt condolences.
This touching film focuses on twenty of these deeply personal letters that came from all over the country. Set against the backdrop of archival footage and never-before-seen Kennedy home movies, the letters are read by 18 of today’s top actors, including Jessica Chastain, Chris Cooper, Viola Davis, Zooey Deschanel, Kirsten Dunst, Anne Hathaway, Laura Linney, Frances McDormand, Mark Ruffalo, Octavia Spencer, Channing Tatum, Betty White and Michelle Williams.
The images also include all-too-familiar news footage of the campaign and inauguration, the Cuban missile crisis, violent racial struggles at home, the war in Vietnam, official overseas trips, the moon landing and Jackie Kennedy’s televised White House tour.
But, it is the heart-wrenching sentiments expressed in the letters from ordinary people that give this film such power. Written long before the era of electronic communication such as email, twitter and text, the letters convey they deep personal connection that the writers felt with the President and Jackie Kennedy.
“I have grown up without a father. Last year, the head man on my list, my grandfather, passed away. Since then your husband was the man I looked up to. I feel that I knew him,” confided student Nancy Ashburn of Beacon, N.Y. “As I write this letter I burst into tears, over the loss of a great man. His memory will last forever. Thank you for listening.”
The screening and reception will be held at the Mashpee High School Performing Arts Center, 500 Old Barnstable Road, Mashpee, MA. The
reception is at 6 p.m. and the screening is at 7 p.m., followed by a Q&A panel discussion.
Tickets are $35 for preferred seating and $25 for general admission and are available in advance at Eight Cousins Bookstore, 189 Main St. Falmouth (508) 548-5548 and at the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum at 397 Main Street, Hyannis, MA (508) 790-3077. They are also available online at www.woodsholefilmfestival.org. If available, tickets may also be purchased at the event on the day of the screening. For more information, call (508) 495-3456.