American documentary filmmaker
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- One would think that making a film is an additive process; you're building this—it's not, it's subtractive. The best metaphor I know of is we make maple syrup in [Walpole, New Hampshire] and it takes forty gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. And that's what the process is.
- 60 Minutes Season 53, Episode 42, "SolarWinds, Ken Burns, Best Band in the Land" (2021)
- I think this is the greatest threat to our republic ever. Not the Depression, not World War II, not the Civil War. This is it … This moment of all these intersecting viruses, of novel coronaviruses and of racial injustice — [a] 402-year-old-virus. And it’s an age-old human virus of lying and misinformation and paranoia and conspiracy. This is the pill that will kill us unless we do something.
- Being an American means reckoning with a history fraught with violence and injustice. Ignoring that reality in favor of mythology is not only wrong but also dangerous. The dark chapters of American history have just as much to teach us, if not more, than the glorious ones, and often the two are intertwined.