Like all of Burns work it is thorough, fact packed and very slowly paced. Really slow.
I know. I’m supposed to love Ken Burns unconditionally as if he were my child or anything bought at the Apple Store. He needs less time!
The documentary is the story of the 18th Amendment, prohibition in America. As told by Burns (through the voice of Peter Coyote) it was an unpopular movement that lucked out while no one was looking. As soon as America came to its senses it was repealed.
It’s a fascinating story full of fascinating characters. It is extremely well researched.
Where Prohibition benefits is in its use of film. I have no idea where Burns found all this footage, but it’s amazing because there’s so much real American life from the 1910s and 20s. I’m seeing nearly all of it for the first time. This alone would be worth watching for.
If it were only faster, or shorter.