© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Race and Representation in Documentary Film

By Sylvia Maria Gross


Kansas City, MO – When Ken Burns agreed to re-edit his documentary series The War about World War II, Latino activists said they hoped the new film will help show the community's contribution to United States history. But other film-makers worried that it opened the door for all sorts of activists and organizations to force them to change their journalistic and artistic vision. Imagine Michael Moore being answerable to the National Rifle Association.

KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross asked film-maker Kevin Willmott his thoughts about representation and historical films. His edgy film the Confederate States of America used the tools of documentary to turn history on its head and show what might have happened if the South won the Civil War. Willmott said that Ken Burns has had a huge influence on documentary film-makers. Kevin Willmott's film Ninth Street, about black soldiers in his hometown of Junction City, Kansas, will be shown on June 30th at the Kansas City Public Library's new Film Vault.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, sign up for the KC Currents Podcast.

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.