Movie Review: The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns

The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns


Originally aired on PBS in 1990 this nine part documentary is simply put The Civil War. From the shadows of the beginning to the fires of the end it takes you through the story of the war. One of the best things is that it uses the words of the participants, letters, journals, speeches, their own words to put a true human face on the terrible conflict.

The voices are brought to life by some of the top talent at the time. Sam Waterson, Jason Robards, Morgan Freeman, Garrison Keillor and others that you would recognize such as Jeremy Irons, Derek Jacobi and Lawrence. Just a few of a large cast that makes the words the focus of the story.

The best parts? The music. It is haunting and stays with you. The stories that the people tell and hearing their own words.

Not so great? It is a documentary not an action film. It is light on details of the battles, but that is not the focus.

Without reservation the documentary is recommended for all levels of historical knowledge. If you want a primer on this Civil War thing you have been hearing about, start here and dig down. If you are an expert on the subject, watch it again and you may still find something you missed. See if you can catch some of the things that ave changed in the study of the Civil War in the 26 years since it has been released.

Get it. As always click ion the link to go and buy it if you don’t have it!