Heir to an Execution [DVD] [2003]

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Special Features

  • Filmmaker audio commentary
  • Exclusive interviews:
  • Tony Kushner - who chose to prominently feature a character based on Ethel Rosenberg in his play Angels in America
  • Arthur Kinoy - an attorney who advocated a stay of execution
  • Bill Reuben - first reporter to argue the Rosenbergs' innocence
  • Additional observations from family & friends in the film: Morton Sobell, Michael Meeropol, Abe Osheroff, Miriam Moskowitz, David & Emily Alman
  • Closed Captioned


Heir to an Execution
Journalist Ivy Meeropol makes her directorial debut with Heir to an Execution, a personal documentary exploring the execution of her biological grandparents: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. In 1953, the Rosenbergs were put to death by the U.S. government with the charge of conspiracy to commit wartime espionage. Their orphaned young children were adopted by the Meeropol family, who raised them with the belief that their real parents were innocent. After working as a magazine reporter and political speechwriter for much of her career, director Meeropol conducted her own intimate investigation of her grandparents. The film includes commentary from the Rosenbergs' friend Morton Sobell (also convicted, but released from prison in 1969) and the director's father, Michael Meeropol. Produced by filmmaker Marc Levin, Heir to an Execution was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 as part of the documentary competition. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi

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