Happy New Year to you all! I hope that 2018 will bring unprecedented levels of creativity, expression and connection in all your endeavors, including any and all engagements you may have with documentary film!
To that end, one of the stalwart names in the documentary community, Ken Burns, is out with a new film dealing with the times in which we live: a fifteen hour documentary on the Trump presidency so far. As you can see from the link below, it is causing many a critic a measure of anxiety, not due to the craft of the filmmaking, but due to the experience of reliving the news of the past few years.
Perhaps people will grow to see this offering from Ken Burns like the Showtime documentary about the 2016 presidential campaign called “The Circus,” sensational and therefore entertaining in a kind of hard−to−watch kind of way, but lacking in any real substance in terms of an overarching theme or artistic direction.
Of course, the seminal documentary about a political campaign is D. A. Pennebaker’s The War Room, about the 1992 Clinton campaign, which was an excellent exercise in cinema verite by one of the founders of that genre, that was interesting as well as profound, focusing not so much on the candidate, but on the men who ran the campaign. Burns of course is a different kind of filmmaker entirely, and we will have to see how his expository style holds up with this kind of subject matter.