The Ken Burns PBS Roosevelt saga (just completed) has had the same effect on me as a great production of a great Shakespearean tragedy: Turmoil in a family of flawed (very flawed) kings, against a background of flawed (very flawed) political, national, and international worlds gone bonkers; the difference being that we see — not actors playing these kings–but the kings themselves — from the time they are born to the day they die. It is also a saga starting in an era of scratchy sound and picture to excellent sound and technicolor.

The effect of watching the fourteen hours consecutively (2 hours each night) was overwhelming. That I lived during the reign of these kings and was undoubtedly a child extra in some of those crowd scenes–there somewhere–and was now seeing the whole period from inside the palaces with the back stories explored and exposed — made it even more moving; very personal. The DVD 14 hour set is available this week. 

–Frank Gagliano

(c) 2014 by Frank Gagliano.  All rights reserved.

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