documentaries | October 31, 2012

Dust Bowl: Ken Burns Premieres A New Documentary On PBS [VIDEO]

“They used to say no one will watch [documentaries about serious subjects], no one has the attention span,” Ken Burns said in a recent interview. “[But Dust Bowl] is an American story, about how there are no ordinary people, and how some of the anonymous among us lead incredible lives.” And if it's anything like the previous work of the talented filmmaker (winning him dozens of awards and two Oscar nods), his newest venture will once more again prove the naysayers wrong.

On November 18 his newest documentary, Dust Bowl, will premiere in a four part series on PBS. “It was a man-made catastrophe,” Burns says of the dust storms that swept across The Great Plains in 1930s; the subject of his film. The sweeping tale spans four hours and chronicles the stories of those who lived through the disaster that saw prairies turned to thick, black dust that choked towns in menacing clouds of dirt for almost a decade. Similar to his other works—Baseball, Jazz and The Civil War—Dust Bowl doesn't shy away from tragedy or heavy-hitting subject matter. He delves deep into the human condition to tell stories that move and leave a lasting impression on the audience. The stories and events he's chronicled in his two-and-a-half-decade career in film have translated seamlessly to the stage. When he presents a keynote, he speaks with ease and conviction on the historical events that have shaped our society. Drawing from the struggles of people from years past, he connects their stories to our own and leaves us with a new appreciation of how we have gotten to be where we are today.

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