Ken Burns at Loyola’s Nunemaker Auditorium

I love Ken Burns. Or, rather, I love his documentary films. I started watching them last summer, and they are just so good. I know the critiques: he is all nostalgia and no politics; he pretends to tell full histories, but he leaves out vital voices; he romanticizes the Confederacy, letting that reunionist Shelby Foote be the expert. The list goes on, but I am not really interested in that particular brand of cynicism when it comes to his films. Continue reading

Confederate Memorial Hall at Camp Street and Andrew Higgens

So I started watching Ken Burns‘s National Parks documentary, and then I lazily watched an episode of his Civil War documentary and got hooked on that as well. He is dangerously soothing with these things, all the fiddles and pianos and familiar voices softly reading to me. The documentaries are so epic I can be tempted to imagine I know the whole story after sitting through nine or twelve hours of his stuff. That’s certainly not the case–he’s got a perspective and is making an argument just like the rest of us. Continue reading