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August 29, 2015

Catch a glimps of PBS' The War - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 4th 2007 2:01PM

the warPBS recently posted a teaser clip of the new Ken Burns documentary about World War II, The War, on YouTube. I've placed it at the end of this post.

Based on my past posts about this upcoming documentary (it airs for two weeks starting September 23), people have differing opinions about Burns' talent as a documentary filmmaker. As a layman, I thought his Civil War was well-made and very interesting, though certainly not the most exciting documentary I've ever seen.

One of the things that will set The War apart from The Civil War is that there are still veterans among us who can give us a firsthand account of what it was like. That's the gist of The War: a collection of interviews with men from four American towns who tell of their experiences in combat. It's also the only thing I personally care about: hearing these stories. To me, one vet talk about the war in frank detail is far more compelling than all of the newsreel footage Burns can wedge into his seven-part series.

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I, for one, can't wait to see The War. I think Ken Burns is an outstanding historical documentarian and probably one of the very best at depicting events in the emotional context they were seen at the time. He doesn't editorialize, demonize, stage fake stunts, or try to generate artificial drama like Michael Moore.

Ken Burns simply stays out of the frame and lets the words and actions of the historical players speak for themselves. You get the sense that he has no agenda other than to leave the viewer with more detailed historical knowledge than they had before seeing the documentary. What more can you ask for?

If you don't care about understanding history and you're just looking for excitement and entertainment, then Ken Burns' documentaries are probably not for you.

July 04 2007 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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