The Dust Bowl: A Film by Ken Burns (2012) - Assignment Example

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It is based on the 1930s period in the United States and Canada when severe drought and dust storms struck, leaving the agricultural sector in both contexts devastated. In Burns’ documentary, the…
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The Dust Bowl: A Film by Ken Burns (2012)
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The Dust Bowl, Ken Burns In Ken Burns’ documentary, The Dust Bowl aired on national television. It is based on the 1930s period in the United States and Canada when severe drought and dust storms struck, leaving the agricultural sector in both contexts devastated. In Burns’ documentary, the issue is replicated where in his implication; the Dust Bowl was largely created by human errors, and particularly the use of outdated farming methods. The dust was so dense it limited visibility and darkened the sky during daytime. All this is defined in four hours of show.
Burns does not fail to highlight the relationship between the Dust Bowl and the famous Great Depression Period. The similarity lies in that one, their times of occurrence were almost simultaneous in that family in their tens of thousands residing around Oklahoma and Texas moved to Canada only to find that the Great Depression had caused dense economic conditions. This presents the similarity between the two in that the economy of the United States suffered a great deal, same as the environment, and families had to keep moving is search of survival. Much of the documentary is based on related photography, little video footage, and the rest is based on the narration and explanations.
The “Black Sunday” as is highlighted in the documentary tells the story of one of the worst periods of the Dust Bowl. On April 14, 1935 which happened to be a Sunday, the dust storms hit hardest than they ever did. The dust is described as a mammoth, with the magnitude of a waterfall, only that this one was dark, went to the skies, stretching from north to south, and caused the worst destruction. Debris, including sticks, cartons, sticks, papers, and all kinds of trash was scattered all over. Structures were destroyed, and birds too, unable to withstand the monster, were blown away.
In the third episode Reaping the Whirlwind, the documentary discussed some of the New Deals meant to provide relief as offered by the State. They included farmer resettlement strategies which were mandated to the Resettlement Agency, the Farm Security Administration meant to assist migrant laborers, peasant farmers, and sharecroppers. Other methods were used in improving the situation such as soil conservation, emergency reliefs, and loans for rehabilitation. In the documentary, Woody Guthrie, famous for his musical influence at the first half of the twentieth century, is mentioned. He earned the title “Dust Bowl Troubadour” because of his performances which mostly talked of the events and occurrences observed during the Dust Bowl, and the Great depression as well (Burns, n.p.).
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Burns, Ken. The Dust Bowl: A Film by Ken Burns. PBS, 2012. Video Read More
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