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.