Review: The Last of the Winthrops


I know of four women who decided not to tell their children who their real father was. Lo and behold, when their children got older and needed birth certificates to apply for their respective passports, they saw a new name. Deceit, even with kind intentions, has repercussions.

Viviane Winthrop, the filmmaker of her own biopic, “The Last of the Winthrops,” was a dentist for 25 years who last worked in a prison. When her position was terminated, she set off to become a film-maker. Her first project was on what she knew best, her own life and her sense of identity.

Viviane had hung a chunk of her identity on the specific family history of her father. It’s not that he became successful, had an admirable value system or was a good parent, but that he was from a wealthy family whose lineage can be traced back to helping found America.

Maybe it’s because I’m a mixed nationality American, like most in the US, but my heritage is not a big identifier. I have written both my maternal and paternal family histories, but I don’t hang my hat on who was what and I just don’t know anyone who does. Generally, there are some renegades in family trees just like there are some heroes. Some came over on the Mayflower, some fought in the Revolutionary War, some came over in the 1850s and some came over rather recently. What makes me proud was that my parents were good people and loved me unconditionally.

Viviane was born in Canada, but moved with her family to gorgeously scenic Sedona, Arizona, when she was a teenager. But the deal with Viviane, as revealed by a close friend, is that she had always been a little obsessive and proud about her family’s early history. So, when she learned that her bio father was actually a Moroccan Casanova, and that she was the product of an affair her mother had during a separation from her father, she went into a tailspin.

I could understand if she felt betrayed because the truth had been hidden from her, but she is ostensibly upset because she thought her identity, and perhaps her honor and worth, were tied up in being a Winthrop.

Viviane is on slender ice, here. What about adopted kids or those in blended families? Are these children any less family members because their DNA doesn’t match? Do their parents and extended family members love them any less?

Viviane’s father, now deceased, is portrayed as being a great dad who loved her dearly. He knew he wasn’t her father and he knew he was sterile. It seems to me Viviane was a precious gift that he thought he would never have.

Even though the film advertises Viviane “finding peace,” I didn’t find that concept developed in the film. Instead, I found that “The Last of the Winthrops” compels an audience response to Viviane. It can’t be helped. You will ask yourself what makes up your own sense of identity and then you’ll want to write Viviane about what should really matter to her.

Having won Best Documentary at the Beyond Hollywood International Film Festival, “The Last of the Winthrops” is now available on Amazon and iTunes.


Directors: Viviane Winthrop and Adam K. Singer
Writers: Christopher SewardAdam K. SingerViviane Winthrop
Music: Shie Rozow
Release: 2022
Official Website:

. . .

Join us on Facebook at!

Comments are closed.