‘Country Music’ Review: Ken Burns’ Latest Portrait of America Focuses on Who Gets to Be Included in Its History

Published on Sep 14, 2019

‘Country Music’ Review: Ken Burns’ Latest Portrait of America Focuses on Who Gets to Be Included in Its History

With few exceptions, the titles of Ken Burns documentaries serve as their own declarative statements. The prolific documentary filmmaker’s works have long had names that are unequivocal, as if there was any doubt about the subject matter contained within. “Country Music” — like “Baseball,” “Jazz,” “The Civil War” and “Jackie Robinson” before it — presents itself as a century-spanning compendium of a particular kind of music that’s been woven into the fabric of American life. While the series itself makes a compelling case for the importance of this music to a vast number of individuals across the country, it also raises plenty of questions about who decides what gets included in that sense of appreciation.

Told over eight installments, spanning 16 hours, “Country Music” is a largely chronological examination of milestone moments and figures within the evolution of the genre. The series doesn’t stray too far from the particular Florentine house style.

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Author: Steve Greene