Ken Burns: The War
The War, a seven-part documentary series directed and produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, examines the history and horror of the Second World War from an American perspective by following the fortunes of so-called ordinary men and women who become caught up in one of the greatest cataclysms in human history.
The War airs nightly July 31 to August 8 at 8:00 p.m. on KUED.
The epic 15-hour film, which won three primetime Emmys, focuses on the stories of citizens from four geographically distributed American towns — Waterbury, Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; and the tiny farming town of Luverne, Minnesota. These four communities stand in for — and could represent — any town in the United States that went through the war’s four devastating years. Individuals from each community take the viewer through their personal and often harrowing journeys into war, painting vivid portraits of how the war dramatically altered their lives and those of their neighbors, as well as the country they helped to save for generations to come.
“The second world war was so massive, catastrophic and complex, it is almost beyond the mind’s and the heart’s capacity to process everything that happened and more important what it meant on a human level,” said Burns.
By focusing on the personal stories of ordinary Americans who had extraordinary experiences, the film tries to bring one of the biggest events in the history of the world down to a very intimate scale. In the end, we all begin to see that there are no “ordinary lives.”
“PBS has a deep and abiding respect for the history, drama and tragedy of war,” said KUED General Manager Michael A. Dunn. “It is a stunning achievement in filmmaking.”
Says PBS Programming Executive John Wilson, “It’s critical that we capture the stories of the generation that fought and lived through World War II before they are lost to us forever. Together we can better understand what we as a nation experienced in those difficult years and what we as a nation accomplished.”
The War features first person voices read by some of America’s greatest actors, including Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Eli Wallach, Adam Arkin and others.
As a companion to the series, KUED airs three episode of its Utah World War II Stories on Thursday August 9 beginning at 8:00 p.m. “Untold Stories “The Struggle” and “Europe” air back to back that evening.
Tue, July 31 to Wed. Aug. 8 , 8PM
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