The Reel Review

B+

This iconic 1975 documentary is a glimpse inside the bizarre world of socialites-turned-eccentric recluses, Edith and Little Edie Beale, the aunt and first cousin of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. The glaring portrait of their life, in their rundown, flea, cat and raccoon-infested, 28-room East Hampton estate, is grotesque and tragic, although filmmakers David and Albert Maysles never pandor or make fun of the mentally ill duo, who gleefully perform for the camera, reminiscing about their glory days. The film ranks as one of the most powerful documentaries of its time, a precursor to our society’s current obsession with reality television.

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