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Free preview screening of “The Vietnam War,” a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 | 4:50pm

NASHVILLE — August 18, 2017  — The State Museum and Nashville Public Television will present a free, advance film screening of The Vietnam War, by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, on Saturday, September 9, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the museum.

The screening will last about one hour and will be followed by Vietnam Voices, a panel discussion with veterans who served in the war, moderated by Dr. Lisa Budreau, the museum’s senior curator of military history.

The Vietnam War is a new 10-part, 18-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, which will premiere on Nashville Public Television (NPT) in September. In an immersive narrative, Burns and Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never before been told on film. The Vietnam War features testimony from nearly 100 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides.

“The Vietnam War was a decade of agony that took the lives of more than 58,000 Americans,” Burns said. “Not since the Civil War have we as a country been so torn apart. There wasn’t an American alive then who wasn’t affected in some way — from those who fought and sacrificed in the war, to families of service members and POWs, to those who protested the war in open conflict with their government and fellow citizens. More than 40 years after it ended, we can’t forget Vietnam, and we are still arguing about why it went wrong, who was to blame, and whether it was all worth it.”

“We are all searching for some meaning in this terrible tragedy. Ken and I have tried to shed new light on the war by looking at it from the bottom up, the top down and from all sides,” Novick said. “In addition to dozens of Americans who shared their stories, we interviewed many Vietnamese on both the winning and losing sides, and were surprised to learn that the war remains as painful and unresolved for them as it is for us. Within this almost incomprehensibly destructive event, we discovered profound, universal human truths, as well as uncanny resonances with recent events.”

Ten years in the making, the series brings the war and the chaotic epoch it encompassed viscerally to life. Written by Geoffrey C. Ward, produced by Sarah Botstein, Novick and Burns, it includes rarely seen, digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and revelatory audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations.

Veterans who served in the Vietnam War will give visitors a first-hand perspective during a panel discussion entitled Vietnam Voices following the film screening. Moderated by Dr. Budreau, the panel members will share their wartime experiences and take questions from audience about the personal encounters that occurred during the war and after their service. Members of the panel and their bios will post on tnmuseum.org at a later date.

Although this is a free event, reservations are encouraged. Free tickets can be downloaded at www.tnmuseum.org. Seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The series The Vietnam War will premiere September 17, 2017, on PBS stations nationwide. More information about the series can be found wnpt.org.

About the Tennessee State Museum:

The Tennessee State Museum was established by law in 1937 “to bring together the various collections of articles, specimens, and relics now owned by the State under one divisional head,” and “to provide for a transfer of exhibits wherever they may be.”  

Today, the Tennessee State Museum is housed in the James K. Polk building in downtown Nashville, where it has been for nearly 35 years. Gov. Bill Haslam proposed and the Tennessee General Assembly approved $120 million in the FY-2015-16 budget to build a new home for the Tennessee State Museum on the Bicentennial Mall to maximize the state’s rich history by creating a state-of-the-art educational asset and tourist attraction for the state. The governor also announced that $40 million would be raised in private funds for the project.

A 140,000 square foot facility is being built on the northwest corner of the Bicentennial Mall at the corner of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Jefferson Street to tell Tennessee’s story by showcasing one-of-a-kind artifacts, art and historical documents in an interactive and engaging way. More information on the museum can be found at tnmuseum.org

About Nashville Public Television

Nashville Public Television, Nashville’s PBS station, is available free and over-the-air to nearly 2.4 million people throughout the Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky viewing area. NPT’s three broadcast channels are NPT, the main channel; secondary channel NPT2; and NPT3, a 24/7 PBS Kids channel. NPT is also available to anyone in the world through its array of NPT digital services, including wnpt.org, YouTube channels and the PBS video app. NPT provides, through the power of traditional television and interactive digital communications, quality educational, cultural and civic experiences that address issues and concerns of the people of the Nashville region, and which thereby help improve the lives of those we serve. Join the conversation at facebook.com/nashvillepublictelevision and on Twitter @npt8.

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