The Vietnam War: A Discussion with Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and Roger Harris

WED, SEP 6, 2017 (51:15)

The Vietnam War is a ten-part, 18-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick chronicling the history of the Vietnam War and encompassing a scope of viewpoints, experiences, and stories from U.S. Veterans to Vietnamese civilians.

See a trailer and long clip from the series followed by a talk with the film directors and Vietnam Veteran, Roger Harris, about the making of the film.Boston Public Radio's Jim Braude and Margery Eagan host the conversation, held in Boston's Hancock Hall.

+ BIO: Ken Burns

Kenneth Lauren Burns is an American director and producer of documentary films known for his style of making use of archival footage and photographs. Among his most notable productions are The Civil War (1990), Baseball (1994), Jazz (2001) and The War (2007).

Burns's documentaries have been nominated for two Academy Awards (Brooklyn Bridge in 1982 and The Statue of Liberty in 1986) and have won seven Emmy Awards.

Burns was born in Brooklyn, New York City, and went on to graduate from Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He earned his BA degree from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1975, and went on to be one of the co-founders of Florentine Films. The recipient of more than 20 honorary degrees, Burns is a sought-after public speaker, appearing at colleges, civic organizations, and business groups throughout the country.

+ BIO: Lynn Novick

Lynn Novick has been making acclaimed documentary films about American history with Ken Burns for more than twenty years. Most recently she co-directed The Tenth Inning, a two part, four hour update to the 18-1/2 hour series, Baseball, (1994). In 2007, Novick co-directed and produced The War, an epic seven-part series that told the story of the Second World War through the personal accounts of nearly 40 men and women from four American towns. The War received multiple Emmy nominations (as well as 3 Emmy awards) and the Television Critics' Association award for best news and information program of 2007.

In 2001, Novick produced the 10-part series, Jazz, which explores in detail the culture, politics and dreams that gave birth to jazz music and follows this most American of art forms from its origins in blues and ragtime through swing, bebop and fusion. Jazz was nominated for five Emmy Awards.

In 1998, Novick co-directed and produced the two-part biographical documentary, Frank Lloyd Wright, (1998) for which she received a Peabody Award. The film was shown at the Sundance, Telluride, Edinburgh and Seattle Film Festivals.

Novick first worked with Burns as associate producer for post production on The Civil War. She previously served as researcher and associate producer for Bill Moyers on two PBS series: Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth and A World of Ideas with Bill Moyers. A graduate of Yale, she lives in New York City with her husband, Robert Smith, and their two children.

+ BIO: Margery Eagan

Margery Eagan is the co-host of 89.7 WGBH’s midday program Boston Public Radio. She has worked with co­-host Jim Braude for 18 years, first doing a TV show together at NECN then a radio show at WTKK. The duo came to WGBH in 2013.

+ BIO: Jim Braude

Jim Braude is the host Greater Boston and co-host of Boston Public Radio. He has worked with co-host Margery Eagan for 18 years, first doing a TV show together at NECN then a radio show at WTKK. The duo came to WGBH in 2013.

During law school, Jim ran a small retail business in Provincetown (HUBE - Help Us Break Even!). He started his professional career as a legal services lawyer in the South Bronx handling housing and prisoners’ rights cases. He was the founder and first president of the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, a union representing staff in civil legal offices for the poor in 35 states. NOLSW helped lead the fight to preserve the national program when President Reagan proposed its abolition.

He then served as the executive director of TEAM, the Tax Equity Alliance for Massachusetts, a tax reform coalition, during which time he led many ballot campaigns, including the defeat of what would have been the largest budget cut on the ballot in U.S. history. He published Otherwise, a magazine on American politics, and then served as a Cambridge City Councilor.

Jim graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and New York University’s Law School.

+ BIO: Dr. Roger Harris

Dr. Roger F. Harris has devoted 38 years working with youth in Boston’s public schools. He presently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer &Superintendent of the Boston Renaissance Charter Public School Foundation. Dr. Harris is the founder and president of Urban School Specialists, LLC. He is the Executive Producer of The Positive Youth Project and It Takes A Village educational series aired on Boston Neighborhood Network television. Dr. Harris is 2nd vice President of the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association and vice President of the Boston Charter School Alliance. He is the former Principal of the two-time National Blue Ribbon Award winning Timilty Middle School. He is a co-founder of the award-winning Roxbury Preparatory Charter School. Dr. Harris has worked in both charter and traditional Boston public high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools as a classroom teacher, athletic coach, mentor, dean, assistant headmaster, and principal, earning national and international recognition as an outstanding urban educator. Dr. Harris travels extensively to China, serving as a delegate to the Chinese Bridge to American Schools Program and has developed partnerships and exchange programs with Chinese Universities and K-12 schools.

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