Ken Burns’ Woodstock and Civil War Docs Coming to PBS

Ken Burns takes a trip to Yasgur's Farm for Woodstock documentary for PBS.

Ken Burns will talk to a child of god who joined in a rock and roll band in his upcoming Woodstock, look at billion year old carbon in The Gene: An Intimate History, and explore a social divide in Reconstruction: America After the Civil War, in a trio of documentaries, PBS announced at the Television Critics Association press tour, according to Deadline.

Woodstock will be tied to the 50th anniversary of the legendary 1969 concert held in upstate New York. “In August 1969, half a million people from all walks of life journeyed from every corner of the country to a dairy farm in upstate New York for a concert unprecedented in scope and influence,” reads the official synopsis. Directed by Barak Goodman and written by Goodman and Don Kleszy, the documentary “examines the tumultuous decade that led to those three historic days — years that saw the nation deeply divided by Vietnam and racial, generational and sexual politics — through the voices of those who were present for the event that would become the defining moment of the counterculture revolution.”

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War is being executive produced and hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  The four-hour documentary chronicles the years immediately after the Union Army defeated the Confederacy “in a divided America,” according to the official synopsis.

The documentary was executive produced and hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research will present the “definitive history of one of the least understood chapters in American history — the transformative years following the American Civil War when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, massive destruction and revolutionary social change,” according to the official synopsis.

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Ken Burns Presents The Gene: An Intimate History is an adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D.’s book of the same title. The three-hour documentary explores the breakthroughs in understanding the impact genes play on heredity, disease and behavior.  Ken Burns Presents The Gene: An Intimate History will be broadcast in Spring 2020. The series, which is now in active production, will use “science, social history and personal stories to weave together a historical biography of the human genome while also exploring the stunning breakthroughs in understanding the impact genes play on heredity, disease and behavior,” according to the official synopsis.

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“From the story of the remarkable achievements of the earliest gene hunters and the bitterly fought race to read the entire human genome, to the unparalleled ethical challenges of gene editing, the documentary will journey through key genetics discoveries that are some of the greatest achievements in the history of science.”

Ken Burns Presents The Gene: An Intimate History will premiere over three nights in Spring 2020

Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City’s Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.

 

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