Exclusive Interview with Ken Burns on National Parks Documentary

Exclusive Interview with Ken Burns on National Parks Documentary

Alisa Opar
Published: 10/01/2009


Ken Burns filming at Montana’s Glacier National Park in July 2008. Jason Savage

Famed filmmaker Ken Burn’s latest project, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” features 12 hours of remarkable tales about more than four dozen individuals who envisioned, sculpted, and fought for our national parks. The film airs in six parts on PBS from Sept. 27 – Oct. 2. Tonight at 8pm, catch the second-to-last segment called “Great Nature,” which focuses on how the parks provided a source for jobs and peace from 1933-1945. For Burn’s personal take on the project and the inside scoop on his next endeavor, check out his fascinating interview with Audubon assistant editor Michele Wilson. Here’s a little taste:

Audubon: How did “National Parks” come about?
Burns: It seemed like an utterly perfect, logical idea. This is an American invention. For the first time in human history, land was set aside not for kings or noblemen or the very rich, but for everybody and for all time. We invented it. The film we have made is not a travel log or a nature film, but instead an investigation of the ideas and the individuals who made this uniquely American thing happen.