Grey Gardens is a documentary by Albert and David Maysles, who are regarded as pioneers in the cinéma vérité movement of documentary filmmaking. The two filmmakers in this film present the life of a mother and daughter who have celebrity connections.
The film is about Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie are related to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The two in the early ’70s, were threatened with eviction as their 28 – room mansion in Long Island’s tony community of East Hampton was seen as a health hazard. It was Jacqueline Onassis who paid for the house to be put in good order.
The Maysles paid the ladies a series of follow-up visits two years after their house was renovated. This documentary shows a candid and direct conversation between the directors and the two women. Big Edie talks about her past, her husband (from whom she has long been separated) and her youthful singing career. Little Edie speaks about her relationships and thwarted romances. She confides that she has to get out of Grey Gardens although she has been living there since 1952. The film shows how the two women pick at each other for transgressions of the past and present.