What Nonfiction Narratives Reveal
Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 5:30pm
Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum
Lynn Novick is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker. For nearly 30 years, she has been producing and directing films about American history and culture, among them some of the most acclaimed and top-rated documentaries to have aired on PBS. Her worksinclude Prohibition, Baseball, Jazz, Frank Lloyd Wright and The War, a seven part, 15-hour exploration of ordinary Americans’ experiences in World War II.
The Vietnam War, Novick’s newest project co-directed by long-time partner Ken Burns, first aired on PBS in September 2017. An immersive, 10-part, 18-hour epic, it is the first major documentary assessment in a generation of one of the most divisive and consequential events in American history. A groundbreaking 360-degree exploration of the war, the series features testimony from nearly 100 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from all sides of the issue.
Novick is currently working on a two-part biography of Ernest Hemingway, co-directed by Burns and slated for completion in 2020, and College Behind Bars, a feature length documentary produced by Sarah Botstein, about a group of men and women imprisoned in New York State for serious crimes, struggling to earn degrees in a rigorous liberal arts college program, the Bard Prison Initiative. College Behind Bars asks several essential questions: What is prison for? Who in America has access to educational opportunity? Can we have justice without redemption? The film will air on PBS in 2018.