Ken “He Keeps Going & Going & Going…” Burns

I’m almost done watching Ken Burns’ latest epic documentary on the National Parks. Clocking in at twelve hours it can feel drawn out, but it has been an interesting and enlightening education on our National Parks. It has certainly given me a new appreciation of them and has gotten me motivated to want to pay them a visit. There are enough stories and background to keep you entertained. I particularly enjoyed learning about the creation of the National Parks system and what a radical idea it was at the time, John Muir and his passion for Yosemite, Theordore Roosevelt who as a well-known nature lover who made preserving areas a priority.

There are some larger than life figures presented, along with ordinary folks who helped create these untouched areas in our country and it’s fun to see how they’re common cause overcame the instinctual greed to use the lands for more economical uses. The film does a get repetitive. The importance and beauty of the parks gets hammered home again and again. After learning about Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and how they became National Parks we’re treated to similar retellings of the Everglades, Mt. Kilauea, Acadia…..it gets to be a little much and there are gaps of getting that fidgety feeling.

Overall I’ve enjoyed it. The footage is beautiful and some of the people we meet really made an impression on me. It still doesn’t come close to Ken Burns’, in my opinion, masterpiece The Civil War, but I don’t think he’ll ever top that.

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