Director John Curran’s Chappaquiddick offers a behind-the-scenes accounts of the events leading up, during and after the Ted Kennedy Incident of July 18, 1969. The Massachusetts Senator accidentally drove off the Dike Bridge on Chappaquiddick Island and left the scene; his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne remained trapped inside the car and drowned. Chappaquiddick focuses on Kennedy’s reaction to the accident and the efforts by his family and his allies to prevent the scandal from harming Kennedy’s political career and his possible future run for the White House. Set a year after the death of Robert F. Kennedy and during the weekend of the Apollo 11 moon landing, a program initiated by President John F. Kennedy, Chappaquiddick also examines the so-called “Kennedy Curse” in relation to one of the many tragedies that has kept the family in the headlines for decades. The film also presents Ted Kennedy as a man caught in the shadow of his late brothers. The cast includes Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Jason Clarke as Ted Kennedy; Kate Mara as Mary Jo Kopechne, one of Robert F. Kennedy’s so-called “Boiler Room Girls” campaign staff members; Bruce Dern as Joseph P. Kennedy Sr; and Ed Helms as Ted Kennedy’s cousin Joe Gargan. Chappaquiddick premiered locally at last year’s Austin Film Festival and opened April 6. John Curran previously directed We Don’t Live Here Anymore, The Painted Veil, Stone, and Tracks. Chappaquidick is written by Dallas natives screenwriters Andrew Logan (left) and Taylor Allen (right). The Austin-based Andrew Logan also produced 6 Years and co-produced Hellion.
Aired: April 5, 2018