Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Way West/The West

In the mid-90s, PBS premiered two unremarkable documentaries on Westward Expansion, the first entitled The Way West by Ric Burns, the second simply called The West, which was more or less an extension presented by his brother Ken under the direction of Stephen Ives. Ric Burn's film is extremely dismal and grows redundant while focusing almost exclusively on the Indian Wars and receives little help from its uninspired cast and vapid contributors. Ives' followup casts a bigger net and generates more interest but is still dreary, repetitive, and somewhat disappointing considering the  inherent allure of its topic.