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This series will provide unprecedented access to the wilderness, frontier lawlessness, and bloodshed of the 40 years between the end of the American Civil War and after the turn of the 20th... See full summary »
This documentary covers the history of the American West from the Native American tribes to their encounter with Europeans and how the Europeans conquered them and settled the land. In telling this story, the film takes into the account to both the viewpoints of Indians and other minorities to balance the white populations history. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I had looked forward to the series as coming from a master of the documentary form. After all, Burns set in motion several documentary devices that have been widely copied since, such as first-person voice-over narration and having the narrator sign off each spoken part with his or her name. The Civil War series was truly an achievement.
This thing, however--
It amounts to a chapters-long indictment of Europeans that verges on racism. It emerges after a while that the only good whites are dead whites. It's true that there was much brutality in white settlement of the west, and that horrible crimes were committed, usually unthinkingly, and many of them by whites. But is there really nothing more to the story than white-folks-bad/red-folks good? With a little effort, Ken Burns might have found, oh, I don't know, at least one good white person. Or, rather, one good white person who wasn't immediately tarred and feathered by his redneck fellows.
It's as if you were to tell the story of World War II and focus on nothing but the fact that the American armed forces were rigidly segregated at the time. Oh, wait, that one's probably Ken Burns' next.
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