What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Grey Gardens, the 1970s documentary about a codependent mother and daughter who related to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, is a tragicomic portrait of two women who have seen better days. As such, the behavior and living conditions of these two might be a bit much for younger, less mature viewers. "Big Edie" and "Little Edie" are often seen in their shared bedroom drinking rum and Coke while arguing about the events that led to their shared destiny of living together for decades in the crumbling mansion named Grey Gardens. Their behavior is erratic and eccentric at best, but what emerges is a provocative portrait of two fiercely independent women who lived through a time and high society where the options for women who wanted to shape their own destinies were limited, and must live with those consequences.
  • Families can talk about how "Big Edie" and "Little Edie's" personality and temperaments are shown on film. What do you notice about the relationship between the filmmakers and the film's subjects, how they interact, and how that effects the way Big and Little Edie reveal themselves and their relationship?
  • How are Big and Little Edie's backstories conveyed?
  • Contrast Grey Gardens with reality television shows where people living in somewhat similar conditions of squalor are conveyed with far less empathy. How does Grey Gardens manage to present a more compassionate documentation of these two, as opposed to reality television's tendencies to be far more manipulative and exploitative?
LANGUAGE
DRINKING & DRUGS
SEXY STUFF
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