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The National Parks: America’s Best Idea
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THE NATIONAL PARKS is the story of an idea as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence: that the most special places in the nation should be preserved for everyone. The series traces the birth of the national park idea in the mid-1800s and follows its evolution for nearly 150 years, chronicling the addition of new parks through the stories of the people who helped create them.
"...A strong candidate for the most beautiful program ever to air on American television. It's the Burns effort that most closely rivals "The Civil War," his masterpiece." --Orlando Sentinel
"Ten years in the making, the new film, while not a travelogue, is an unabashed love letter, with its backdrop of spectacular vistas filmed in 52 national parks" --The New York Times
"It may be safe to say that The National Parks is Burns' best work." --True West
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The film is interspersed with glimpses of typical Americans and reveals their most delicate feelings in experiencing the National Parks. It is very effective at illustrating the transformative power of natural beauty, its healing and empowering effects on the soul, and our deep connections to nature and wildlife and our deep needs for it. The film is as much about the why humans seek to preserve natural beauty as it is a history of it.
It all works. It is a masterful piece of art and you will enjoy and be moved by it.
Be sure and watch the series with your children or grandchildren, compare notes, make lists, and then get out and discover your own national park.
SPECIAL NOTE: to celebrate their centennial the NPS is offering free admission to all parks for 4th graders and their families during 2016!
Photo: view from Walter's Wiggles, Zion NP (my husband during his tenure as 2015 Artist-in-Residence.)
Otherwise it's a typical top notch documentary by Ken Burns as others have more eloquently stated.