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Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl 1 Season 2012

prime

Available on Prime
Season 1
Available on Prime
(640) IMDb 6.3/10

1. Uncovering The Dust Bowl TV-PG CC

Additional material and backgrounder featurette from "Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl"

Runtime:
6 minutes
Original air date:
November 5, 2012

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Season year 2012
Network PBS
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

143 of 148 people found the following review helpful By BraveSooner on October 8, 2012
Format: DVD
I was fortunate enough to see a preview cut of The Dust Bowl last week in an event hosted by PBS and it's typical Ken Burns. Burns revolutionized the documentary format in 1990 with The Civil War. His style and technique changed the way stories are told now by historians and filmakers around the world through film. So it should come as no surprise that The Dust Bowl is yet another great work by the masterful director. The film documents the Dust Bowl through iconic pictures and film as Burns usually does, but it is told through the eyes of the survivors in a way that makes the experience even more powerful. I would describe the film as The Worst Hard Time comes ALIVE! If you enjoyed the book by Timothy Egan you will no doubt love this film. If you have not read the book by all means do yourself a favor and do so. Egan is a major contributor of course along with other historians as they are used to frame the events of the era, but it is the "survivors" that truly make the film special! I HIGHLY recommend this film to individuals that love history,to anyone who wants to learn more about the struggle of survival in one of the greatest man-made disasters in world history to anyone who just loves a great documentary.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Rich Stoehr on November 24, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
It starts with a few words: "Let me tell you how it was." In the space of four hours, Ken Burns tells you how it was on the great wide plains of America, in the 1930's, in the Dust Bowl.

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.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By john doe on December 21, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
my dad joseph franklin alcorn, was born in 1857 yes that's right, 1857. he had twin boys me and my brother paul alcorn at age of 75. so we were born in 1931. so those times were fresh in our minds. this video is as real as it gets. although we were only 6 years old when dad died at age 81 my age now . shortest 4 hour movie i ever watched. buy it.........
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97 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Steve Ramm TOP 100 REVIEWER on November 12, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
What John Ford attempted (and, in my opinion, succeeded) to do in the 1940 feature film "The Grapes of Wrath" - to put a human face on those farmers and their families who survived the challenges of the deadly dust storms, as well as the Great Depression in the "dust bowl quadrant" during the 1930s - Ken Burns has succeeded with his latest four-hour documentary that aired on PBS in November 2012 and was released by PBS Home Video on Blu-ray with some bonus features. If you've seen Burns' documentaries on the Civil War or World War Two, you will have an idea of what to expect. Actor Peter Coyote is back as narrator and Burns chose specific families whose members are still alive to tell their own stories. When Burns planned the film he took out ads in the four-state area which comprised the "dust bowl" seeking survivors. He received over 70 responses and - through a process of elimination, chose more than two dozen to interview at great length. These were individuals who were children when the first storms came in 1933 (and lasted nearly a decade). A few interviewees were siblings. All make fascinating interviewees and their stories are compelling.

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.
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