In this short film by Sarah Klein and Tom Mason, Ken Burns shares his thoughtful perspective on what makes a good story.
Abraham Lincoln wins the Civil War and then he decides he’s got enough time to go to the theatre. That’s a good story. When Thomas Jefferson said “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”, he owned a hundred human beings and never saw the hypocrisy, never saw the contradiction, and more importantly never saw fit in his lifetime to free any one of them. That’s a good story.
Over at the Atlantic, Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg has an interview with the filmmakers.