Montana: The Magazine of Western History
Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806), Documentary films
Reviews Ken Burns's 1997 public television documentary on the Lewis and Clark expedition, 'Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery.' In his documentaries Burns seeks not just the "dry relation of fact," but a portrayal of the emotional truth of the historical event that allows viewers to connect with it as human drama. Burns has exploited well the inherent drama of the expedition's story to produce a compelling documentary. Rather than labeling it a work of history, based on explanation through critical inquiry, it is better seen as a "heritage" film. The latter identifies and celebrates virtues of the American character as they appeared in the past. While not history, Burns's films do serve to connect the public with their past.
Lang, W. L. (1998). Lewis and Clark and the American century: A review of Ken Burns's PBS series on the Corps of Discovery. Montana: The Magazine Of Western History, 48(1), 56-61.