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Film ‘Chappaquiddick’ looks at Kennedy family and the privilege of power

While faith-based movies have been doing extremely well, a new movie slated to release this weekend tells the story of the deadly 1969 car accident with Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Kennedy survived, but his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, did not.

It’s also beginning a national dialog about a an incident that many say changed the direction of American history. Chappaquiddick, rated PG-13 and staring Kate Mara, Clancy Brown and Olivia Thirlby, will detail the events leading up to the accident and Kennedy’s attempts to reportedly cover up the incident. In July 1969, Kennedy accidentally drove his car off a bridge into the Poucha Pond near Chappaquiddick Island. He escaped but did not rescue Kopenchne. He did not report the accident for 10 hours and Kopechne suffocated in an air bubble.

His family and other political allies reportedly tried to cover up the accident. Later, however, Kennedy pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of a crash causing personal injury and he was sentenced to a two-month jail sentence. His license was suspended for a year.

The episode effectively ended Kennedy’s aspirations to be president of the United States and, may say the era of a Kennedy-centered Camelot.

While there were rumors that Kopechne and Kennedy were involved in an affair or that Kopechne was even pregnant, the film will focus on Kennedy’s persona “not as a monster but as a deeply flawed and somewhat pathetic scion of a dark and manipulative family,” columnist Ben Shapiro writes in an opinion piece for Townhall.com.

“Most importantly, though, Chappaquiddick reminds us that confirmation bias and wishful thinking aren’t unique to one side of the aisle,” he says.

The film is being hailed as tackling an event that “mainstream book publishers and Hollywood have mostly steered clear of … for 48 years,” says Kyle Smith in a column for the National Review.

“Chappaquiddick must be counted one of the great untold stories in American political history: The average citizen may be vaguely aware of what happened but probably has little notion of just how contemptible was the behavior of Senator Ted Kennedy,” Smith said.

–From Christian Headlines