Ken Burns has directed a critically-acclaimed, almost 15-hour long documentary entitled THE WAR. The documentary traces the lives of these who fought and those who stayed behind from four American towns: Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; Waterbury, Connecticut; and Luverne, Minnesota. From the producers:
“Above all, we wanted to honor the experiences of those who lived through the greatest cataclysm in human history by providing the opportunity for them to bear witness to their own history. Our film is therefore an attempt to describe, through their eyewitness testimony, what the war was actually like for those who served on the front lines, in the places where the killing and the dying took place, and equally what it was like for their loved ones back home. We have done our best not to sentimentalize, glorify or aestheticize the war, but instead have tried simply to tell the stories of those who did the fighting — and of their families. In so doing, we have tried to illuminate the intimate, human dimensions of a global catastrophe that took the lives of between 50 and 60 million people — of whom more than 400,000 were Americans. Through the eyes of our witnesses, it is possible to see the universal in the particular, to understand how the whole country got caught up in the war; how the four towns and their people were permanently transformed; how those who remained at home worked and worried and grieved in the face of the struggle; and in the end, how innocent young men who had been turned into professional killers eventually learned to live in a world without war.”
PBS aired the first installment last night, and it was outstanding.
(HT: Denny Burk)