Sunday, September 6, 2015

Civil War Sunday - He Started It All

Why am I interested in the United States Civil War?

Part of the reason is my love of history, and part of it was a film created by a man by the name of Ken Burns.

25 years ago, this film, called The Civil War, was broadcast by American PBS (Public Broadcasting System) for the first time.  I saw it, and I was immediately hooked.

Years later, I took the series out of the library (VHS tapes!) and my spouse and I shared it with my son, then in school.

Now, PBS is going to show a remastered version this coming week

The original film was starting to deteriorate, and the technology of 25 years ago doesn't work that well for audiences demanding HD quality work.  The film has been remastered in "4K" quality.

There was so much about the film I fell in love with.  The portions of a diary written by a southern woman, Mary Boykin Chesnut (I stayed in one of the homes she wrote portions of this diary in this past spring-one day I should blog about the experience), recited at many points in the film.  The soft spoken narration, in contrast to the horrific events. And, the theme song, called Ashokan Farewell (written in 1982 by Jay Unger), totally captured my emotions.

This is not the exact version of the song featured in The Civil War, but it will give you a flavor, along with the Civil War images it is set to.

The film took longer to make than the Civil War lasted.

Whether or not you are that interested in history, you should (if this is being shown where you live) try to check out at least one episode of The Civil War, and experience some of this story that made the United States what it is today (for better or worse).


  1. I watched the 25 year recap they did a few weeks ago. I am looking forward to watching this week as I have only seen bits and pieces of the series. One of my most interesting vacations was of the battlefields in Virginia and PA. Later my hubby and I visited the ones in Ohio.

  2. I have no idea if my initial comment posted, Alana- my internet went down 'mid comment.' We learnt about this period in history at school, it was very interesting!

  3. Ah yes. I didn't see the whole thing, but I've seen much of it in fits and starts over time. I was surprised to find that on Apple computers, there's an effect called the Burns effect that takes an image and zooms in or out on it just like in this. So cool.

  4. I have a lot of interest but history real fascinates me...

  5. Thanks for sharing, Alana. I quite enjoy watching war movies. The music is quite haunting.


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