There were more than 800,000 letters and cards sent to Jacqueline Kennedy in the weeks following the assassination of President John Kennedy – all reflecting the nation’s grief and loss.
Some 50 years later, those poignant and touching letters are the focus of a documentary film titled “Letters to Jackie: Remembering President Kennedy.” The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum Foundation and the Woods Hole Film Festival are joining forces for a special screening of the film on Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Mashpee High School Performing Arts Center.
Bank of Cape Cod is partnering with the two organizations as sponsor of a reception and screening of the film by Academy Award and Emmy winner filmmaker Bill Couturie, who based the documentary on the 2010 book by historian Ellen Fitzpatrick. This is the first Cape Cod screening of the film, which debuted last week at an event at the JFK Presidential Library in Boston.
“This is an important film for everyone to see, particularly those of us on Cape Cod where the Kennedy family legacy lives on in so many ways,” said Timothy Telman, president and CEO of Bank of Cape Cod. “The JFK Hyannis Museum and the Woods Hole Film Festival are two very important organizations bringing rich cultural and economic opportunity to our area and we are happy to support their efforts in showing the film to Cape audiences.”
This touching film focuses on 20 of these deeply personal letters that came from all over the country. Set against a backdrop of archival footage and never-before-seen Kennedy family home movies, the letters are read by a number of today’s leading actors, including Chris Cooper, Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Betty White, Channing Tatum, Laura Linney and others.
The letters capture the magical touch and close connection many people felt toward the President and First Lady in the early 1960s. There are heart-wrenching, personal and deeply moving sentiments expressed through the letters.
“This event is important to both organizations for several reasons,” said John L. Allen, director of the JFK Hyannis Museum. “First, this screening preview ties in to our special 2013 Exhibit “summer 1963 to November 22, 1963: Days of Joy, Days of Sorrow” as well as our focus on building a more robust cultural profile of the museum for Cape and Islands residents and visitors. Second, it provides an opportunity for joint collaboration with another Cape arts organization that compliments the mission of both. We are delighted to bring it to Cape audiences and appreciate the support we are receiving for this endeavor.”
The reception is at 6 p.m. with the screening at 7, followed by a question and answer period with a panel discussion featuring Couturie and Fitzpatrick. Tickets are $35 and $25 and may be purchased at the museum on Main Street in Hyannis, or by logging on to the Woods Hole Film festival website, www.woodsholefilmfestival.org.