This year is the 150th anniversary of the beginning of America’s most destructive conflict—the Civil War. Arguably the most significant event in the history of the United States, the war divided the country and ultimately created a nation.
To mark the historic occasion, PBS Home Video and Paramount Home Entertainment will release a new 150th Anniversary Edition of celebrated filmmaker Ken Burns’s acclaimed epic documentary "The Civil Aar" on DVD on March 29.
The "riveting" (TV Guide) documentary "brings the American Civil War to life as no history has ever been brought to life on screen" (Wall Street Journal) and the monumental effort won numerous awards including an Emmy, Peabody, People’s Choice and two Grammy Awards.
The new six-disc set includes a bonus disc with never-before-seen interviews with Shelby Foote, and a new interview with Ken Burns himself, plus a companion collector’s booklet. With digitally enhanced images, here is the saga of celebrated generals and ordinary soldiers, a heroic and transcendent president and a country that had to divide itself in two in order to become one.
Ken Burns’s nine-part series took nearly six years to complete — longer than the Civil War itself — and has been hailed as a masterpiece of historical storytelling.
Through the careful use of archival photographs, live modern cinematography, music, narration, and a chorus of first-person voices, Burns does more than merely recount historical facts: "The Civil War" unearths the very heart of the American experience; listening to the ghosts and echoes of an almost inexpressibly wise past.
The Civil War was the first modern war and, for Americans, the costliest, yielding the most American fatalities and the greatest domestic suffering, spiritually and physically. It was the watershed of a new political and economic order, and the beginning of big industry, big business and big government. It was the most horrible, necessary, intimate, acrimonious, mean-spirited, and heroic conflict the nation has ever known. At Gettysburg in 1863, Abraham Lincoln said perhaps more than he knew. The war was about a "new birth of freedom."
PBS will rebroadcast the original version of Burns’s "The Civil War" on five consecutive nights beginning Sunday, April 3.