What You Need To Know:
(H, PC, B, M) Relativistic, materialistic, valueless worldview featuring brief elements of political correctness & biblical morality, although God is barely mentioned; and, divorce portrayed but not condoned.
MARTHA AND ETHEL is a fascinating documentary produced by Jyll Johnstone and Barbara Ettinger, childhood friends who tell the stories of their nannies and their relationships with the families who employed them. It is a charming oral history of social life in twentieth century America told by means of interviews, photos, old home movies, and videotape. Martha, the Johnstone’s nanny, was born in Germany in 1903 and trained as a baby nurse in a traditional, authoritarian style. Escaping Nazi anti-Semitism, she emigrated to the Unites States in 1936, where she was hired by the Johnstones, a wealthy Manhattan couple. She stayed with them for 30 years and raised their five children. Ethel, the Ettingers’ nanny, was born in rural South Carolina in 1902, moved to New York City in the 1930s and was hired by the Ettingers in 1951 to care for their twin girls. Always considered a member of the family, Ethel stayed on to raise three other girls and a boy and today remains in the employ of Mrs. Ettinger as a companion.
MARTHA AND ETHEL makes no value judgments regarding the lifestyles of the two families. While not Christian in theme, this refreshing movie is a wonderful and heartwarming portrait of two women who made an unique impact upon many people. The film speaks to the hearts of everyone, as each life touches others every day.