Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Rosenberg Documentary Debuts at Sundance (More Nausea from Leftdance Film Fest!)
AP via Yahoo ^ | Jan 21, 2004 | DAVID GERMAIN, AP Movie Writer

Posted on 01/22/2004 10:01:41 AM PST by RightWingAtheist

By DAVID GERMAIN, AP Movie Writer

PARK CITY, Utah - Few filmmakers examining their family history in a documentary would find themselves in the thick of the Academy Awards (news - web sites) race.

When your grandparents are Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, though, the subject resonates far outside the immediate family.

Ivy Meeropol's "Heir to an Execution" chronicles her effort to come to terms with the lives and deaths of her father's parents, executed as traitors in 1953 after being accused of relaying the secret of the atomic bomb to the Soviets.

"I grew up with this. It was always there and I knew about it because it was just part of our lives. But I didn't really feel the need to delve into it before," Meeropol, 35, said in an interview at the Sundance Film Festival (news - web sites), where "Heir to an Execution" is among 16 films competing for the top documentary honor. The film also is one of 12 up for Oscar consideration in next Tuesday's nominations.

"Then I started to be curious about people who knew my grandparents, and family members, too, that I had never talked to. On the personal side, I wanted to know more about what happened, and I wanted to bring people along on that journey."

The film weaves archival footage, family home movies and Meeropol's conversations with her father, Michael Meeropol, his younger brother, Robert, other relatives and associates of the Rosenbergs.

A deeply personal, occasionally heartbreaking affair, "Heir to an Execution" paints a rich portrait of a devoted couple whose names came to symbolize Cold War hysteria.

While the film humanizes the Rosenbergs, it does not lionize them. The Meeropols are convinced Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were railroaded, yet the film makes clear that the family believes Julius may have been a spy and that Ethel likely would have been aware of her husband's activities.

In the 1970s, her father and uncle crusaded to reopen the case, convinced their parents were entirely innocent, and Ivy Meeropol grew up with the same conviction. But government documents released in the mid-1990s caused the family to reevaluate whether Julius Rosenberg might have been trading secrets to the Soviets.

"I (agree) with the film," said Michael Meeropol, who came to Sundance for his daughter's premiere. "I think the film has done a really good job of identifying the legitimacy of accepting ambiguity and uncertainty.

"I'm willing to live with that," said Meeropol, 60, who was 10 when his parents went to the electric chair at Sing Sing. "I can make a fairly good case that the government's documents are disinformation and therefore should be disregarded, or I can make a fairly good case that it's legitimate, and my father is the person in those documents."

The documentary captures heartwrenching moments for the Meeropols, including Michael and Robert's return to the family apartment where they had lived until their parents' arrest. Ivy Meeropol visits the Rosenbergs' graves and has a tearful reunion with a distant cousin after other members of the long-divided Rosenberg family refused to meet with her.

Archival footage includes compassionate statements from Anne and Abel Meeropol, supporters of the Rosenbergs who stepped forward to adopt the two boys after the executions.

The camera also documents Ivy Meeropol's visit to the modest home of Ethel Rosenberg's brother, David Greenglass, who worked at the atom-bomb test site and testified against the Rosenbergs, but admitted two years ago that he lied about some of his testimony.

Ivy Meeropol decided against knocking on the door and confronting Greenglass. Just seeing his house satisfied her curiosity, and she did not want audiences sympathizing with Greenglass as an old man being pursued by a camera crew.

"I'm being very honest in the film," Ivy Meeropol said. "I just let go of him as the main villain."

The film documents the Rosenbergs' final hours, as demonstrators for and against the executions hit the streets, reporters mobbed Sing Sing and President Eisenhower refused to commute the sentences.

On June 19, 1953, Julius Rosenberg was electrocuted, and Ethel followed him minutes later. To the end, authorities offered Ethel Rosenberg an out, telling her she could avoid the electric chair by confessing.

People have often wondered why she did not do it for the sake of her sons, Michael Meeropol said.

"At the last minute, our father's already dead, and what she would have had to do is make up stuff," he said. "She would have had to say, `Yes, my husband was a spy,' and then she would have had to lie and say, `I was, too.' So now she goes to jail for 30 years. Does she really take care of us that way? Does that really help take care of us?

"Her response was to stand by him and stand by that incredible commitment. And that way, as Ivy says in the film, we get to grow up respecting and loving them."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Utah
KEYWORDS: academyawards; armsrace; atomicbomb; coldwar; communists; denialaintariver; documentary; espionage; ethelrosenberg; films; hollywoodleft; josephstalin; juliusrosenberg; mccarthywasright; militarysecrets; movies; nationalsecurity; nuclearwar; nuclearweapons; oscar; rosenbergs; sovietunion; spies; stalin; stalinists; stalinsusefulidiots; sundance; theredmenace; therosenbergs; traitor; traitors; treason; unclejoe; usefulidiots; ussr; worldwar3; worldwariii
Once again, I've placed the most outrageously idiotic statements in bold, so you can savour the bias and willing ignorance in its full glory.
1 posted on 01/22/2004 10:01:42 AM PST by RightWingAtheist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: marron; Matthew James; maica; Grampa Dave
The real message here:

"Communism wasn't so bad, let's give it another try, only this time we'll get it right. And as far as those 100 million kulaks and class enemies and saboteurs who were executed or worked to death in Gulags? So what? You can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs. The ends justify the means."

2 posted on 01/22/2004 10:11:03 AM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RightWingAtheist
People have often wondered why she did not do it for the sake of her sons, Michael Meeropol said.

Because she was a committed communist, and she cared more about becoming a martyr for the Cause than she did for her children.

3 posted on 01/22/2004 10:12:57 AM PST by jdege
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RightWingAtheist
Great post, thanks for posting. I'm sure had they been spying against Stalin instead of for him, they would have gotten far better treatment. And I'm sure that point is made in the film. NOT.
4 posted on 01/22/2004 10:15:14 AM PST by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RightWingAtheist
People have often wondered why she did not do it for the sake of her sons, Michael Meeropol said.

By numerous accounts, Ethel's two young sons were spoiled brats that she could hardly control. The Meerpols who adopted them were communists and the boys grew up as red-diaper babies. Their book, "We Are Your Sons", was a determined defense of their parent's innocence, but that was before the translated Venona messages were released. The Feds couldn't use them at the time of the Rosenbergs' trial, because they didn't want the Soviets know they had them.

5 posted on 01/22/2004 10:15:37 AM PST by xJones
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RightWingAtheist
"I think the film has done a really good job of identifying the legitimacy of accepting ambiguity and uncertainty.

Just sheesh...

6 posted on 01/22/2004 10:17:01 AM PST by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RightWingAtheist
Great Job.

Redford is a true Watermelon. Green on the outside and very red on the inside.

He is a truly vile POS!
7 posted on 01/22/2004 10:17:14 AM PST by Grampa Dave (GW is driving every rat in America into a deeper insanity, 24/7/365!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RightWingAtheist
"the film has done a really good job of identifying the legitimacy of accepting ambiguity and uncertainty."

Straight outta the "How To Be A Liberal" Hnadbook.

8 posted on 01/22/2004 10:19:20 AM PST by VaBthang4 (-He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps-)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RightWingAtheist
Redford's operation openly becoming an outlet for Socialist/Communist propogranda; Gene Lyons also showcasing a film there about the "hunting" of Clinton. Redford is no longer attempting to hide his true colors, having recently given money to Che Guevera's widow.

A review of some of the movies he's been in:

The Candidate - Message of cynicism and hopelessness about the political process.

The Way We Were - Glorified the leftist message of the socialist figure (played by Streisand) and denigrated the capitalistic crowd who persecuted her.

3 Days of the Condor - Depicted the CIA as a ruthless, bloodless group who even killed their own people to achieve their ends.

All the Presidents Men - Glorification of Woodward and Bernstein.

9 posted on 01/22/2004 10:21:15 AM PST by what's up
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee; BOBTHENAILER; risk; SierraWasp
The warning sticker below should be posted whenever the Watermelon Redford says or does anything. As you have noted he has ignored the mass murdering commy leaders for decades. He loves Fidel!


10 posted on 01/22/2004 10:21:45 AM PST by Grampa Dave (GW is driving every rat in America into a deeper insanity, 24/7/365!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Grampa Dave
Great watermelon sticker, is there a hammer and sickle version?
11 posted on 01/22/2004 10:23:33 AM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Grampa Dave
Robert REDford
12 posted on 01/22/2004 10:25:04 AM PST by catpuppy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Grampa Dave
Redford played Mr.Death on an episode of The Twilight Zone (it's probably still the best thing he's ever been in). Now, he hawks films which glorify history's real-life Grim Reapers.
13 posted on 01/22/2004 10:25:19 AM PST by RightWingAtheist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
No there isn't. We had one for awhile and it disappeared.

Maybe we can get a good graphic artist to help us.
14 posted on 01/22/2004 10:26:56 AM PST by Grampa Dave (GW is driving every rat in America into a deeper insanity, 24/7/365!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: catpuppy
Yep, you nail green all over on the outside and red in the center Redford.
15 posted on 01/22/2004 10:27:43 AM PST by Grampa Dave (GW is driving every rat in America into a deeper insanity, 24/7/365!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten; Grampa Dave
Thank you both for your kind comments. Here are further posts demonstrating how just how far left the Sundance fest is. All the lamentations about the fest's descent into crass commercialism seem quaint compared to what you read here:


http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1062916/posts


http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1061738/posts


http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1058976/posts
16 posted on 01/22/2004 10:32:08 AM PST by RightWingAtheist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: RightWingAtheist; Travis McGee
The Meeropols are convinced Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were railroaded, yet the film makes clear that the family believes Julius may have been a spy and that Ethel likely would have been aware of her husband's activities.

They were probably guilty and yet they were railroaded...

These were her grandparents so you have to cut her some slack I suppose, but this is not clear thinking. Maybe she is thinking about the unfairness of it, some traitors go to jail, some get elected to high office.

17 posted on 01/22/2004 10:33:51 AM PST by marron
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
"Communism wasn't so bad, let's give it another try, only this time we'll get it right. And as far as those 100 million kulaks and class enemies and saboteurs who were executed or worked to death in Gulags? So what? You can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs. "

Stalin was a right-winger, and it wasn't real communism. Thats the new mantra. Oh, and Stalinism was a Jewish plot.

18 posted on 01/22/2004 10:36:23 AM PST by marron
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Grampa Dave; Travis McGee
Second that description of REDford as a vile POS.

"Communism wasn't so bad, let's give it another try, only this time we'll get it right. And as far as those 100 million kulaks and class enemies and saboteurs who were executed or worked to death in Gulags? So what? You can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs. The ends justify the means."

Perfect description of the message. KGB files have long ago nailed all the supposed victims of Cold War hysteria, as so nicely documented in Ann Couletr's "Treason".

19 posted on 01/22/2004 10:37:15 AM PST by BOBTHENAILER (One by one, in small groups or in whole armies, we don't care how we do, but we're gonna getcha)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: RightWingAtheist
"I think the film has done a really good job of identifying the legitimacy of accepting ambiguity and uncertainty.

Huh?...The chaotic mind of liberalism.

20 posted on 01/22/2004 10:41:13 AM PST by Outraged
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jdege
Because she was a committed communist, and she cared more about becoming a martyr for the Cause than she did for her children.

Julius and Ethel were committed communists, conceived of themselves as soldiers in the Cause, and followed the Party's orders to the end. It would be interesting to know what they privately thought, and it is still (barely) possible that some ex-communist will surface with relevant information.

History does throw up interesting questions. We have here spies for Uncle Joe (Ethel was fully complicit in what Julius was doing, even if she -- a homemaker -- didn't personally steal the secrets), who had the courage to die for their beliefs. They belong on the same moral plane as the SS men who died in the last ditch for Hitler.

21 posted on 01/22/2004 10:45:44 AM PST by sphinx
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: RightWingAtheist
At least you don't have to live out here where they're showing the films. Every year, right on schedule, every channel is filled with Hollywood's most leftist wackos as they come into town. Then, you have to listen to their rants and idiotic interviews.
22 posted on 01/22/2004 10:45:54 AM PST by aegiscg47
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: aegiscg47
Get a dish satellite and don't look at the local channels and the Sundance channel during this time period.

It works great!
23 posted on 01/22/2004 11:00:34 AM PST by Grampa Dave (GW is driving every rat in America into a deeper insanity, 24/7/365!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: aegiscg47
Get a dish satellite and don't look at the local channels and the Sundance channel during this time period.

It works great!
24 posted on 01/22/2004 11:00:39 AM PST by Grampa Dave (GW is driving every rat in America into a deeper insanity, 24/7/365!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: aegiscg47
Get a dish satellite and don't look at the local channels and the Sundance channel during this time period.

It works great!
25 posted on 01/22/2004 11:00:54 AM PST by Grampa Dave (GW is driving every rat in America into a deeper insanity, 24/7/365!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: aegiscg47
Get a dish satellite and don't look at the local channels and the Sundance channel during this time period.

It works great!
26 posted on 01/22/2004 11:00:56 AM PST by Grampa Dave (GW is driving every rat in America into a deeper insanity, 24/7/365!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: RightWingAtheist
If they would have talked, they would have lived.
27 posted on 01/22/2004 11:04:43 AM PST by JmyBryan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Grampa Dave
Grampa, you are repeating yourself...:)
28 posted on 01/22/2004 11:06:42 AM PST by Outraged
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: RightWingAtheist
".......chronicles her effort to come to terms with the lives and deaths of her father's parents, executed as traitors in 1953 after being accused of relaying the secret of the atomic bomb to the Soviets......."

SHOULD READ............

".......chronicles her effort to come to terms with the lives and deaths of her father's parents, executed as traitors in 1953 after being CONVICTED of relaying the secret of the atomic bomb to the Soviets........."

.....among others. This whole article is riddled with stuff like this.

Propaganda written about Propaganda.

29 posted on 01/22/2004 11:07:56 AM PST by DoctorMichael (Thats my story, and I'm sticking to it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Outraged
I repeated myself 3 times past my original reply.

John Rob must be tinkering with the server's reply program.
30 posted on 01/22/2004 11:19:24 AM PST by Grampa Dave (GW is driving every rat in America into a deeper insanity, 24/7/365!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: RightWingAtheist
I have zero sympathy for them. Once a communist always a communist. These red apples did not fall far from the communist tree.
31 posted on 01/22/2004 11:25:15 AM PST by cynicom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
2 executed and guilty Rosenbergs vs. 100,000,000 executed and innocent Russians, and all the tears are for the Rosenbergs.

On the other hand, as a personal statement I can see making this film. What an odd thing to grow up with, knowing your parents were executed and what for and being told that it was a phony government conspiracy and then finding out that it was not. That is pretty dramatic stuff. The voyeur value of learning more about what the heck that was like would be worth something. But no pity for Julius and Ethel. Bad things happen to traitors. Sux for the kids. Think about that BEFORE you commit treason.

32 posted on 01/22/2004 11:33:09 AM PST by babble-on
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Grampa Dave; Travis McGee; BOBTHENAILER; SierraWasp
I wish I could have thrown the switch myself.
33 posted on 01/22/2004 7:07:07 PM PST by risk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: risk
They put the entire population of the world in danger then and now.
34 posted on 01/22/2004 11:06:04 PM PST by Grampa Dave (GW is driving every rat in America into a deeper insanity, 24/7/365!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: babble-on
I only wish Pollard and Aldrich Ames had earned the same fate as the Rosenbergs.
35 posted on 01/22/2004 11:08:05 PM PST by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Grampa Dave
All because they thought they knew best.
36 posted on 01/22/2004 11:22:29 PM PST by risk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: VaBthang4
"Straight outta the "How To Be A Liberal" Hnadbook."

"Liberal" was the KGB's code name for Julius Rosenberg.
37 posted on 01/22/2004 11:36:09 PM PST by Hon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: risk
Actually, it was worse than that. They hated America and most Americans, and they gave away our nuclear secrets to put us in a terrible position.

Now with the potential of some Islamokazi getting a nuclear weapon, we are in danger again.
38 posted on 01/22/2004 11:36:22 PM PST by Grampa Dave (GW is driving every rat in America into a deeper insanity, 24/7/365!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Grampa Dave
I wonder who the current Rosenbergs are...
39 posted on 01/22/2004 11:38:44 PM PST by risk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: All

40 posted on 01/22/2004 11:38:58 PM PST by Hon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Hon
Thanks for posting what Robert REDford and the other commy loving lunatic libs never admit to.
41 posted on 01/23/2004 7:45:10 AM PST by Grampa Dave (GW is driving every rat in America into a deeper insanity, 24/7/365!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson