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Ad for 'Chappaquiddick' to debut on CNN's 'The Kennedys'

This July 22, 1969 file photograph shows U.S. Sen Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., arriving back at his home in Hyannisport, Mass., after attending the funeral of Mary Jo Kopechne in Pennsylvania. A new feature film is in the works about the tragedy on the small Massachusetts island nearly a half century ago that rocked the Kennedy political dynasty. Kopechne drowned when a car driven by Kennedy went off a bridge on Chappaquiddick, a small island in Edgartown, Mass., on the eastern end of Martha's Vineyard on July 18, 1969. (AP Photo/Frank C. Curtin)

The new and disturbing movie “Chappaquiddick,” about the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s July 1969 car crash that left Mary Jo Kopechne dead, is set to debut on CNN’s “American Dynasties: The Kennedys” this weekend.

The movie, which reopens the scandal and Kennedy’s failure to save Kopechne or immediately call in the nighttime wreck, has already drawn new controversy, even from her family who were given a private screening last month.

CNN on Sunday begins airing a six-part mini-series on one of the most famous modern-day political families.

The ad for the movie, opening April 6, will tell the story for a new generation that has never lived with a famous Kennedy in Washington.

The ad campaign also comes with a hashtag, #ThisReallyHappened.

It opens with family and friends toasting a possible Ted Kennedy presidency. From the trailer, it then shows the crash off the old wooden bridge on Chappaquiddick Island and a drowning Kopechne left alone in the car screaming “Ted!”

It then shifts to Kennedy saying, “We told the truth, at least our version of it.”

The next lines from an unshown actor are, “A dead body holds a lot of secrets,” followed by another voice saying, “are you saying that maybe she didn’t drown?”

And the point that Kennedy didn’t call for help was made.

It ends by showing Kennedy at the funeral home, looking at the 29-year-old Kopechne and saying, “What have I done?”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com