Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl Reminds Us About The Strength Of The Human Spirit
"We took this grassland that should have never been plowed—larger than the state of Ohio—and turned it to wheat production," Burns explains, "and when the drought came in and the winds blew, that topsoil blew away and we almost lost this productive area." He created the film not only as a way of telling the story of this horrible period, but as a reminder that poor foresight and a lack of political will can create tremendous disasters. "The lessons in The Dust Bowl film are both at a human level, about perseverance, but [also at] a broad national level about what we do when we cooperate and what we do when we don't cooperate," says Burns.
This film, like many of his other works, chronicles not only the events that shaped a nation, but also tells the stories of dignity, grit, and the strength of the human condition to overcome difficult times. Some of his films include Baseball, Jazz and The Civil War; he is a two-time Academy Award-nominee and the recipient of numerous other major awards in film. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, Burns has developed a knack for not only telling inspiring stories on film, but to live audiences as well.