Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl (DVD)
Ken Burns chronicle of the worst manmade ecological disaster in American history.
Using photos, film footage, music and interviews Burns gets to the heart of one of the grimmest periods in modern US history in this fascinating documentary from PBS.
It was the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history in which the heedless actions of thousands of individual farmers, encouraged by their government and influenced by global markets, resulted in a collective tragedy that nearly swept away the breadbasket of the nation.
It was a decade-long natural catastrophe of Biblical proportions encompassing 100 million acres in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico when the skies withheld their rains, when plagues of grasshoppers descended on parched fields, when bewildered families huddled in dark rooms while angry winds shook their homes and pillars of dust choked out the mid-day sun.
And it was an epic of human pain and suffering a crucible of dust, drought and Depression, when normally self-reliant fathers found themselves unable to provide for their families; when even the most vigilant mothers were unable to stop the dirt that invaded their houses from killing their children by pneumonia; when thousands of desperate Americans were torn from their homes and forced on the road in an exodus unlike anything the United States has ever seen.
Filled with seldom seen movie footage, previously unpublished photographs, the songs of Woody Guthrie, and the observations of two remarkable women who left behind eloquent written accounts, the film is also a historical accounting of what happened and why during the 1930s on the southern Plains.
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