Thursday, August 4, 2011

History Documentaries Roundup

Lisa de Moraes, "Summer TV Press Tour 2011: Ken Burns compares ‘Prohibition’ doc to present day," Washington Post, August 1, 2011
Ken Burns wants America to watch his new PBS documentary, “Prohibition,” and notice startling similarities to our current political maelstrom. At Summer TV Press Tour 2011, Burns led TV critics to that trough and suggested in the strongest possible terms that they drink deeply.>>>

Tim Younkman, "Bay City man who served as guard during Nazi Nuremberg trial featured in documentary," Bay City Times, July 28, 2011

BAY CITY — The courtroom is quiet as a corpulent figure on the witness stand — one of the highest-ranking German Nazis — proudly defends his actions during World War II. Standing next to him is a steely American guard, Bay City soldier Andrew Wendland. It’s just one of the scenes included in a newly restored 1947 documentary titled “Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today,” which is being shown for the first time to North American audiences during a two-year tour of cities.>>>

Mike Boehm, "NEH gives $40 million in grants; $3.2 million to California," Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2011

. . . . L.A.’s Grammy Museum will get $550,000 to help produce “Rockin’ the Kremlin,” a film by director Jim Brown about the role American rock music played in weakening the Soviet empire. A report last year on plans for the film said it includes an account of a 1977 Soviet tour by the Southern California-based Nitty Gritty Dirt Band that was said to play a part in capturing young Slavic imaginations, presumably helping to awaken them to the drawbacks of totalitarian rule. Brown’s past films include documentaries about Woody Guthrie, the Weavers, Peter Paul and Mary and a PBS series, “American Roots Music.”>>>

Rich McKay, "Post-slavery South chained to hard labor: Upcoming film shows how Atlanta relied on indentured servitude," Atlanta Journal Constitution, July 28, 2011

In the years after the Civil War, a black man could get arrested in Atlanta simply for being outside after sunset or talking loud or looking at a white woman in the “wrong way.” Those arrested could spend years in forced labor, auctioned off for pennies by the state for hard labor for the profit of big Atlantan industries. A $75 fine could take a decade of back-breaking work to pay off.>>>

Ceri Radford, "Timeshift: All the Fun of the Fair, BBC Four," Telegraph, August 3, 2011

Candyfloss bigger than your head, goldfish in plastic bags, nausea-inducing rides and inept efforts at the coconut shy: most of us have memories of the fairground, and last night’s Timeshift: All the Fun of the Fair (BBC Four) was a fond and informative trundle through its cultural history. The documentary also managed to effortlessly suggest both how different things used to be and, simultaneously, how similar.>>>


documentaries said...

Documentary filmmaking is a different and unique branch of the filmmaking industry. In order to make a documentary film, an individual is required to understand every single aspect of the subject. These include the historical, social and cultural backgrounds, production requirements and technical necessities.

Faith said...

Thank you for posting these great stories. Historical documentaries remind us who we are, where we've been and how we should act going forward.