Heir to an Execution

OCOpen Caption screening
Additional program content
SFSensory Friendly. Details HERE

There are no showtimes currently scheduled for this film.

Heir to an Execution

Special 20th Anniversary Screening followed by a Q&A with director Ivy Meeropol and her father Michael Meeropol.

When Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were put to death in 1953 for selling atomic secrets to the USSR, their two children were orphaned after every family member refused to take them in. Documentarian Ivy Meeropol, raised to believe in her grandparents’ innocence, begins investigating what actually happened, interviewing family members and friends including her father, Michael Meeropol. With declassified papers indicating Julius was participating in espionage in some capacity, Ivy tries to understand the beliefs that drove the couple.


Q&A with director Ivy Meeropol and her father, Michael Meeropol
Monday, Mar. 25 2024, 7:00
This event is over. View all of our upcoming events.

  • Ivy Meeropol premiered her HBO documentary Roy Cohn: Bully, Coward, Victim at the 2019 New York Film Festival and in 2020 the film was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Historical Documentary. She was Senior Story Producer on the CNN Films documentary The End: Inside the Last Days of the Obama White House, which premiered at the National Archives in Washington, DC, and was one of the highest rated of CNN’s original films. Ivy’s debut film, Heir to an Execution (HBO), explored the legacy of her grandparents Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. It premiered at Sundance and was shortlisted for an Academy Award. Kenneth Turan, of the Los Angeles Times, called it, “An exceptional documentary... a compelling emotional narrative laced with explosive political material.” Ivy was a Sundance Institute Fellow and has been awarded grants from the Sundance Documentary Fund, the NY State Council for the Arts, and the MacArthur Foundation. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. Her latest feature documentary After the Bite, about the explosion of great white sharks and seals on Cape Cod, premiered on HBO in July 2023.
  • Michael Meeropol is professor emeritus of economics at Western New England University in Massachusetts. He is the author of Surrender: How the Clinton Administration Completed the Reagan Revolution (University of Michigan Press, 1998, available free online at library.oapen.org). He also coauthored, with Robert Meeropol, We Are Your Sons, about the lives and legacy of their parents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Coming Soon


Opens 4/26

Evil Does Not Exist

Opens 5/17

I Saw the TV Glow

Opens 5/17

The Jacob Burns Film Center is proud to receive generous support from:

Email Sign Up

Get updates on screenings at the JBFC Theater, upcoming events, and more!