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Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl [Blu-ray]
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Ken Burns' real talent is his focus on the average man and woman. Rather than focusing on the famous, the politicians and celebrities (though they do come into play at times), he introduces us to names from history that we never knew. So, in 'The Dust Bowl,' we get the story of the college-trained writer who set up a homestead in no-man's land, finding her husband there. We hear the story of the family with nine children, and the ambition to pass on a square mile of fertile land to each of them. We hear the stories of children born into a world of blowing dust and dirt, of some who survive, and some who didn't make it.
Make no mistake, this is a story of struggle and human endurance stretched to the limit, of hopes raised and then dashed again, year after year. It's a story of ecological disaster and deprivation. It's tough to watch and often heartbreaking.
We learn the origins of the phrase "dust bowl," and gain new appreciation for terms like "duster" and "black blizzard," used to describe the frequent waves of windswept dirt and dust the washed across the plains in the 1930's, sometimes blowing across the country before their fury is spent. We learn about what it means to be a "next-year people" and the mantra of the Dust Bowl farmer: "If it rains..."
And all of this comes to us in photographs, in old film clips, in interviews with men and women who were children of the Dust Bowl, from letters and diary excerpts read by talented voices, as though the people of that time were speaking to us from across the years.Read more ›
The show aired on TV over two nights - two hours each - and the Bluray places each of the two hour episodes on a separate disc with related bonus material for each segment. In addition to about 20 minutes of "deleted interviews", there are a few "featurettes" hosted by Burns telling why, and how, he decided to cover this subject.
While I found the production fascinating, after a while it began to become repetitive. Yes, the storms returned again and again but often Burns covered them from the same angle.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Was very pleased to see this documentary available on Amazon. It is a high quality work.Published 14 hours ago by Jennifer Sobeck
Totally heartbreaking, but inspiring. This film encompasses all the horror of the situation and all the beauty of its subjects. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Lorraine Robert
I've enjoyed immensely everything Ken Burns has done. The Dust Bowl is no exception.Published 4 days ago by Rob Sommers
The immensity of this man made disaster and collective impact this had on families and people is very moving. I highly recommend viewing. Read morePublished 7 days ago by D. Kendall
Excellent history and pictures. Understanding more what my families went through.Published 7 days ago by djt
Though I saw it before, it's very detailed and factual as to the basic causes of the depression. Scary that we have again bailed out banks and let them keep doing it over and over... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Stephanie King