METROFOCUS: April 1, 2021

HEMINGWAY TELL-ALL

Ernest Hemingway is one of the most influential writers of the 20th Century. But who was the man behind the pen? Documentarians Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s latest documentary, Hemingway, presents the sides of the man many may not have known existed- who used racial slurs and epithets, abused his wives, and struggled with both mental health and gender fluidity. The three-part, six-hour look at the author is a revelation. But it has also been a controversial point of contention among a group of documentarians whose recent letter to PBS is making national headlines. They say white stars like Ken Burns get too much airtime and resources, while filmmakers of color struggle to build careers. Tonight, Hemingway co-director Ken Burns joins us along with the series’ Senior Producer Sarah Botstein and by North Carolina State University English Professor Marc Dudley with a reaction to that letter and a look inside the mind of Hemingway.

For more information on Hemingway, click here.

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL P. ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

> HE APOLOGIZED HIMSELF.

WHY DO PEOPLE MYTHOLOGIZE?

HEMINGWAY CONSTRUCTED HIS MYTH TO A LARGE DEGREE, AND HE MADE THE MISTAKE THAT ALL MYTH MAKERS DO.

HE THOUGHT THAT HE COULD CONTROL IT.

AND THERE COMES A TIME THAT YOU CAN'T ANYMORE.

> GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JACK FORD.

THAT WAS JUST A QUICK PREVIEW OF 'HEMINGWAY' THE LATEST PBS DOCUMENTARY SERIES FROM AWARD-WINNING FILMMAKER KEN BURNS.

THE NEW SIX-HOUR, THREE-PART FILM EXAMINES ERNEST HEMINGWAY'S TURBULENT LIFE, HIS PUBLIC PERSONA AND ALSO HIS PRIVATE PERSONA.

WHILE HEMINGWAY IS OFTEN REMEMBERED AS BEING THE ULTIMATE AMERICAN MALE.

THIS FILM PRESENTS A MUCH MORE COMPLEXED AND NUANCED INDIVIDUAL, ONE THAT DID ENJOY HUNTING AND FISHING AND FIGHTING, BUT ALSO HAD COMPLICATED VIEWS ON THE FLUIDITY OF GENDER AND HIS OWN SEXUALITY AND WHO STRUGGLED WITH HIS MENTAL HEALTH IN MANY MORE WAYS THAN JUST ALCOHOLISM.

JOINING US TO TALK ABOUT ERNEST HEMINGWAY IS DR. MARC DUDLEY, A PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH.

SARAH BOTSTEIN AND OUR GOOD FRIEND KEN BURNS, THE CODIRECTOR OF PBS'S HEMINGWAY.

THANK YOU ALL FOR JOINING US.

IT'S A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU ALL HERE WITH US.

LET ME GET YOU ONTO THE SCREEN HERE SO WE CAN CHAT TOGETHER.

WELCOME TO ALL OF YOU.

KEN, ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO SEE YOU.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING US.

GREAT TO BE HERE.

I WANT TO GET TO SOME OF THE SPECIFICS OF THE FILM AND OF HEMINGWAY.

AS I SAID IN THE INTRODUCTION, WE THINK WE KNOW A LOT ABOUT HEMINGWAY, BUT WHAT THIS FILM TEACHES US IS WE DON'T.

THERE ARE SO MANY MORE LAYERS AND NUANCE.

LET'S TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO PULL BACK THE CURTAIN ON FILM MAKING.

KEN, YOU'VE BEEN ENGAGED IN SUCH A WIDE VARIETY OF FILMS, WE GO BACK TO YOUR FIRST ONE 'THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE.'

YOU CAN LOOK AT BASEBALL AND JAZZ, THE CIVIL WAR, THE VIETNAM WAR, INDIVIDUALS, HEMINGWAY.

I UNDERSTAND YOU'RE WORKING ON SOMETHING WITH REGARD TO MUHAMMAD ALI.

SO MY QUESTION TO YOU IS, WHEN YOU'RE DECIDING, ALL RIGHT, I'M GOING TO LOOK TO A NEXT PROJECT, HOW DO YOU GET THERE?

WHAT IS IT WITH ALL THE POSSIBLE STORIES OUT THERE YOU COULD TELL, WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES YOU SAY, THIS IS THE ONE?

YEAH.

YOU KNOW, THE SIMPLE ANSWER, JACK, IS THAT -- AND THANK YOU FOR HAVING US -- IS THAT THEY CHOOSE US.

IT'S NOT TRUE.

WE HAVE LOTS OF IDEAS IN OUR HEAD, BUT WHEN THAT IDEA DROPS DOWN TO YOUR HEART, YOU SAY YES TO IT.

IN THE CASE OF HEMINGWAY, WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT IT SINCE THE EARLY TO MID '80s, REVISITING IT, THINKING ABOUT IT, WHATEVER, BUT NOT COMMITTING TO IT UNTIL THE EARLY OUGHTS.

6 1/2 YEARS AGO WE BEGAN WORKING ON IT.

SO IT'S A LONG, LONG PROCESS FOR US.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO UNDERSTAND IS THAT WE'RE NOT DECIDING TO DO IT BECAUSE WE KNOW ABOUT IT.

WE'RE DECIDING TO DO IT BECAUSE WE WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT.

THE FIRST IS US TELLING YOU WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW.

AND THAT'S HOMEWORK.

THE SECOND IS US SHARING WITH YOU A PROCESS OF DISCOVERY, WHICH IS A MUCH MORE INCLUSIVE AND KIND OF INTERCHANGEABLE THING.

I DON'T REMEMBER WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT HEMINGWAY BEFORE THIS.

I CHECKED THE BAGGAGE AND IT'S ON SOME CAROUSEL IN SOME CITY THAT ISN'T HERE, YOU KNOW?

EVERYTHING WAS A REVELATION.

USUALLY YOU HAVE SET RESEARCH, SET WRITING.

THAT PRODUCES THE SCRIPT, WHICH INFORMS THE SHOOTING AND THE EDD EDITING.

WE NEVER STOPPED RESEARCHING AND WRITING.

WE'RE CORRIGIBLE TO THE END.

HEMINGWAY IS SO COMPLICATED.

THERE'S SO MUCH UNDERTOW TO HIM.

YOU HAVE TO OPEN IT UP AND REDO IT TO HONOR THAT COMPLICATION, BECAUSE THERE'S NO EASY, SIMPLE ANSWER TO THIS MAN.

YOU KNOW, HE HAS IMMENSE FLAWS, WHICH WE HOLD HIS FEET TO THE FIRE AND DO NOT FORGIVE HIM FOR.

HE HAS ENORMOUS TALL ENT AND AN ENDURING BODY OF WORK THAT WILL LAST FOREVER AND NEW ASPECTS THAT ARE BEGINNING TO COME TO LIGHT OR AT LEAST WE'RE FOCUSING ON IN A WAY THAT COMMEND HIM TO THIS MOMENT SOMEHOW, AND YET OTHERS THAT DON'T.

SO WE HAVE TO WRESTLE WITH THIS AS FILMMAKERS JUST TELLING A GOOD STORY.

HAVING SAID THAT, THE PROCESS FOR THIS AND 'BROOKLYN BRIDGE' AND BASEBALL AND JAZZ AND THE CIVIL WAR, EXACTLY THE SAME.

EXACTLY US SUBMITTING TO THE SAME PROCESS.

IT'S JUST WE SEE A FILM AS LITERALLY A MILLION PROBLEMS, BUT WE DON'T SEE THE PROBLEMS AS PEJORATIVE.

WE SEE THEM AS NECESSARY, LAWFUL FRICTION THAT WE HAVE TO OVERCOME.

THAT'S THE PROCESS.

I LOVE YOUR POINT THAT YOU AS FILMMAKERS ARE TAKING US -- BY THE WAY, AGAIN, IT'S A MARVELOUS FILM.

YOU'RE TAKING US ON A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY.

RIGHT.

WHERE, AGAIN, WE COME INTO SOMETHING THINKING I THOUGHT I KNEW SOMETHING.

I'VE OFTEN SAID THAT I PERHAPS WOULD SUSPECT THAT AS FILMMAKERS ONE OF THE BEST REACTIONS YOU CAN GET FROM VIEWERS IS, WOW, I DIDN'T KNOW THAT.

WE GET IT ALL THE TIME EVEN FROM THE SCHOLARS WHO ATTEND TO US.

THEY KNOW THEIR BAILIWICK AND ALL OF A SUDDEN IN THE VIETNAM WAR THEY HAD NO IDEA ONCE WE HAVE UNDISCLOSED VIETNAMESE MILITARY RECORDS, SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

SARAH, LET ME ASK YOU AS A PRODUCER, THE VOICES OF THE FILL ARE MARVELOUS.

IT'S THE VOICES, I'VE ALWAYS THOUGHT, WITH REGARD TO KEN'S WORK AND I KNOW YOU'VE WORKED ON MANY OF THESE FILMS, IT'S THE VOICES THAT DRAW YOU IN, THAT AGAIN HELP TO TAKE YOU ALONG ON THIS JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY.

TALK ABOUT THE VOICES IN THIS FILM.

WE HAVE SOME WONDERFUL PEOPLE, JEFF DANIELS, MERYL STREEP, KERI RUSSELL, MARY LOUISE PARKER.

HOW DO YOU DECIDE THE VOICE FOR THIS CHARACTER?

I'LL ANSWER THAT IN TWO WAYS.

IT IS ABSOLUTELY ONE OF OUR FAVORITE JOBS, IS TO RECORD VOICES, THE NARRATOR.

THE FIRST TIME I SAT IN A VOICE SESSION WITH KEN I WAS 23 OR THIS YEARS OLD.

IT WAS A LONG TIME AGO.

HE KEPT GIVING A VERY SIMILAR DIRECTION WHICH WAS I WANT IT TO BE INTERIOR, QUIET, INTIMATE, YOU.

IT'S NOT A PERFORMANCE IN THE LARGER SENSE OF THE THEATRICAL WORD.

IT'S THE SIMPLEST, CLEAREST DIRECTION THAT I THINK TRANSLATES BEAUTIFULLY IN ALL THE SUBJECTS AND ALL THE FILMS THAT WE HAVE MADE AND I'VE BEEN PRIVILEGED TO WORK ON.

YOU KNOW, TO JUST ECHO WHAT KEN WAS SAYING, OUR PROCESS REGARDLESS OF THE SUBJECT IS REMARKABLY THE SAME, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF RECORDING VOICES FOR HEMINGWAY, WHICH HAPPENED RIGHT AROUND COVID.

SO WE HAD TO FINISH HEMINGWAY AND RECORD VOICES IN A VERY DIFFERENT WAY THAN WE'VE TRADITIONALLY DONE.

WE'RE ALWAYS IN A STUDIO, WE'RE ALWAYS TOGETHER, WE'RE ALWAYS IN A ROOM FEELING EACH OTHER'S ENERGY AND EMOTION.

A LOT OF THIS WAS DONE EITHER REMOTELY LIKE THIS OR WITH US NOT EVEN THERE.

THAT WAS A WHOLE NEW WAY OF WORKING FOR US.

I THINK WE WILL ALL SAY HOW LUCKY WE ARE THAT JEFF DANIELS AGREED TO DO THIS FROM HIS iPAD IN THE MIDDLE OF THE COUNTRY, THAT MERYL STREEP WENT INTO A STUDIO BY HERSELF AND INHABITED MARTHA GALLHORN.

THAT KERI RUSSELL, MARY LOUISE PARKER, PATRICIA CLARKSON BROUGHT IT TO LIFE.

I HAVE A LITTLE SOUND STUDIO AND WE DID A LOT OF VOICES IN AN OLD FASHIONED, SEW IT TOGETHER WAY BECAUSE OF COVID.

HEMINGWAY IS BOTH THE SAME AND VERY, VERY DIFFERENT AND WE'RE LUCKY.

I WILL TELL YOU WHEN I WATCH THESE FILMS, I ENGAGE IN MY OWN LITTLE SORT OF QUIZ AND I DON'T LOOK AT WHO THE VOICES ARE AND SEE IF I CAN RECOGNIZE THEM.

I IMMEDIATELY LOSE WHO THEY ARE AND IMMEDIATELY THEY BECOME WHO THEY ARE READING.

PEOPLE SAY TO US, HOW DO YOU PICK THE CELEBRITIES FOR THIS?

I SAY WE DON'T PICK CELEBRITIES, WE PICK PEOPLE WHO ARE GOOD AT READING.

YOU MAY SAY, OH, THAT'S TOM HANKS, WHO WE'VE WORKED WITH A NUMBER OF TIMES, BUT ALMOST A NANO SECOND LATER YOU'VE FORGOTTEN IT'S TOM HANKS AND YOU ARE NOW IN THE CHARACTER THAT HE IS DOING.

THE SAME WITH MERYL, THE SAME WITH JEFF.

JEFF IS UNBELIEVABLE.

WITHOUT HIM PUTTING ON A YOUNG VOICE OR AN OLD VOICE, HE HAS TO AGE FROM A KID TO AN OLD MAN.

HE HAS TO GO FROM COMPASS MENTIS TO NOT.

HE HAS TO READ LETTERS THAT ARE PERSONAL AND LESS EDITED THAN THE GREAT FICTION HE HAS DONE.

JEFF DID IT WITH APLOMB.

HE INHABITS EACH WORD.

THERE IS SEPARATION WITH EACH WORD.

JUST AS IN MUSIC IT'S NOT THE NOTES, IT'S THE INTERVALS BETWEEN THE NOTES THAT MAKE MUSIC MUSIC.

IT'S NOT THE WORDS.

IT'S THE INTERVALS BETWEEN IT.

JEFF GAVE US THIS BRAVURA PROMISE.

HE BECAME ATTICUS.

THERE IS ONLY ONE ATTICUS.

IMMEDIATELY HE BECAME ATTICUS.

YOUR EXPRESSION HE INHABITS A ROLE IS A GREAT ONE.

AS SOMEONE WHO HAS STUDIED AMERICAN LITERATURE, AMERICAN CULTURE, YOU HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT AND STUDIED ERNEST HEMINGWAY.

THE QUESTION I WANT TO POSE TO YOU IS SORT OF ONE OF THE BIGGER ONES THE FILM TALKS ABOUT.

THAT'S THE NOTION OF THE MYTH OF ERNEST HEMINGWAY AND THE ACTUAL MAN ERNEST HEMINGWAY.

HOW WOULD YOU EX EXPLAIN -- ARE THEY ABLE TO EXIST INDEPENDENTLY OF EACH OTHER, OR IS THERE SOME INTERCONNECTION THAT IS INEXORABLE.

HOW DO YOU ANSWER THAT?

I'M GOING TO USE KEN'S TAG LINE.

THE LAST TIME WE HAD A CONVERSATION, I WAS CONFERRED THE PHRASE 'IT'S COMPLICATED.'

IT'S ALL OF THOSE THINGS.

I THINK THAT'S WHAT MAKES HIM SO INTERESTING.

WE HAVE CONSTANT CONFLICT.

THE FILM, I THINK, CAPTURED THAT WELL, TWO WARRING RING SPIRITS.

THIS IS SOMETHING THAT HE COMES BACK TO AGAIN AND AGAIN IN HIS WRITING, BOTH EXPRESSLY BUT ALSO SORT OF COVERTLY.

THE ARTIST'S STRUGGLE, THE CRAFTSMAN, WHAT THAT PERSON HAS TO DEAL WITH, AND THEN THE ARTIST FACE THAT THE WORLD SEES.

WE CALL IT CELEBRITY.

YOU KNOW, WE'VE WRESTLED WITH THAT CONSTANTLY IN MEDIA WHEN WE TALK ABOUT MODERN DAY CELEBRITIES.

IT DOESN'T START WITH POP STARS OF TODAY.

I POINT TO HEMINGWAY OF 100 YEARS AGO AS A 20 SOMETHING YEAR OLD INDIVIDUAL WHO HAD A SENSE ALREADY THEN THAT HE WAS GOING TO BE BIG STUFF.

I WOULD MAKE THE CASE THAT HE ALREADY KNEW AS A TEENAGER.

IT'S BEEN DOCUMENTED THAT HE WROTE LETTERS OR NOTES TO HIMSELF THAT HE WAS GOING TO DO CERTAIN GREAT THINGS.

HE KNEW HE WAS BOUND FOR GREATNESS.

I THINK THE FILM CAPTURES THIS PERFECTLY.

THE MYTH GETS AWAY FROM HIM AT SOME POINT.

INVARIABLY THAT HAPPENS.

IT'S THE STUFF OF GREAT STORY TELLING.

WE MENTION THE TERM CELEBRITY.

WE KNOW THERE CAN BE FAME, THERE CAN BE CELEBRITY.

THE TWO CAN INTERSECT.

SOMETIMES PEOPLE WANT FAME, THEY DON'T WANT CELEBRITY.

SOMETIMES PEOPLE ARE HAPPY WITH CELEBRITY.

WAS HE ACTIVELY SEEKING BOTH FAME AND CELEBRITY, DO YOU THINK?

I THINK SO.

AGAIN, I THINK EVERY PERSON THAT YOU COULD POINT A MICROPHONE TO AT SOME POINT WILL SAY WE WANT WHAT THAT PERSON HAS.

BUT WHEN WE GET IT, WE'RE SORT OF FACED WITH THE REALITY.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR.

AGAIN, HE BECOMES A CARICATURE OF HIMSELF ALREADY AT 30 SOMETHING YEARS OLD.

HE'S FINDING THAT.

KEN, LET ME ASK YOU THIS.

WE CAN ALL JUMP IN ON THIS ONE.

I FIND THIS CURIOUS MYSELF.

TODAY HE'S STILL ACCLAIMED UNIVERSALLY FOR HIS WRITING.

THERE'S A GREAT LINE IN THE FILM WHERE SOMEBODY TALKS ABOUT AS A WRITER, YOU CAN EITHER EMBRACE HIM OR KILL THE GHOST OF HIM INSIDE, BUT YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO ONE OF THE TWO IF YOU'RE A WRITER.

THAT IS CORRECT.

KEN, WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY MEAN BY THAT?

WHY STILL IS HIS WRITING PRESENCE SO POIGNANT?

HE IS REALLY, REALLY GOOD, JACK.

THAT REALLY, REALLY GOOD DOESN'T END IN A CENTURY OR 50 YEARS OR 50 SECONDS OR 15 MINUTES, AS WE SAY ABOUT FAME.

THIS LEVEL OF WRITING IS SO EXTRAORDINARILY GREAT THAT YOU CAN SAY ARGUABLY HE IS THE GREAT AMERICAN WRITER OF THE 20th CENTURY.

THERE ARE LOTS OF PEOPLE YOU COULD PUT UP TO COUNTER HIM, BUT HE'S HAD THIS ENORMOUS INFLUENCE ON PEOPLE.

THEN BECAUSE HE COMES WITH THIS BIG MYTHOLOGY, THIS BIG SELF-CREATED IN MANY WAYS MYTHOLOGY THAT BOTH SHIELDED HIM AND ENTRAPPED HIM.

HE ALSO HAS A BIG DYNAMIC STRUGGLE.

WE AS FILMMAKERS WITH THE HELP OF MARC AND OTHER PEOPLE ON CAMERA CAN TRY TO GET AROUND AND UNDERSTAND AND TRY TO MAKE SENSE OF THIS DISSONANT, YOU KNOW, CONTRADICTIONS WITHIN HIM.

SO THIS IS A HUGELY DIFFICULT TASK TO DO.

I THINK YOU START WITH, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS READ A SHORT STORY OR READ ONE OF THE GREAT NOVELS, YOU KNOW, 'SUN ALSO RISES,' 'FAREWELL TO ARMS' AND YOU ARE SUDDENLY IN THE PRESENCE OF A MASTER.

HE'LL LAST AS LONG AS SHAKESPEARE LASTS.

YOU CAN'T TAKE IT AWAY.

THEN YOU ADD THE LIFE TO IT, AND YOU'VE GOT THIS WHOLE OTHER THING.

HE'S INVITING US TO CONSTANTLY REEXAMINE HIM.

THAT'S WHERE I THINK THE FUN BEGINS.

MARC, I SAW A LINE FROM JEFF DANIELS TALKING ABOUT IN THE FILM THE STRONG DECLARATIVE SENTENCES IN THE WRITING.

I SAW JEFF DANIELS SAY AFTER DOING THIS, I'VE STOPPED USING ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS.

EXACTLY.

MARC, YOU WERE GOING TO SAY SOMETHING.

I WAS GOING TO SIMPLY PIGGYBACK ON WHAT KEN SAID.

SOMETHING THAT WAS CLOSELY RELATED AND EQUALLY IMPORTANT, HE'S NOT JUST THE GREAT CRAFTSMAN OF THE 20th CENTURY.

I WOULD BE ONE OF THOSE OUT FRONT AND CENTER ADVOCATING FOR THAT LABEL.

I WOULD ALSO SAY HE'S EMBLEMATIC OF THE GREAT AMERICAN IN A LOT OF WAYS, THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY.

HE'S THE RUGGED INDIVIDUAL IN ALL VENUES, BUT HE'S ALSO THAT SELF-MADE PERSON THAT WE ALL SORT OF ASPIRE TO BE.

YOU SEE IT IN FILM AND LITERATURE AND ALL FACETS OF ART.

YOU KNOW, AMERICA, AGAIN WARTS AND ALL, IS STILL SORT OF THIS OBJECT OF DESIRE FOR THE WORLD.

HEMINGWAY IS EMBLEMATIC OF THAT.

AS COMPLICATED AND UNLIKABLE AS HE CAN BE -- AND HE WAS -- HE WAS ALSO ENORMOUSLY DISCIPLINED AND A VERY DISCIPLINE D CRAFTSMAN.

HE WORKED EVERY MORNING.

HE READ ALL THE TIME.

HE READ EVERYTHING VORACIOUSLY HIS WHOLE LIFE.

AS BAUDY AND DIFFICULT HIS AFTERNOON AND EVENINGS WERE, HIS MORNINGS WERE VERY, VERY DISCIPLINED.

YOU SEE THAT IN THE WRITING.

BECAUSE HE SAVED EVERYTHING AND BECAUSE WE HAD ACCESS TO THE ARCHIVES AND TO SEE THE 40 SOME ODD ENDINGS TO 'A FAREWELL TO ARMS' AND THE CARE HE TOOK WITH A COMMA, SEMICOLON.

IT'S DECEPTIVELY SIMPLE AND COMPLICATED.

THIS ISN'T A PUFF PIECE.

THERE IS AN UNYIELDING SPOTLIGHT PUT ON HIM IN THIS FILM HERE, PEELING BACK ALL OF THESE COMPLEX LAYERS.

A COUPLE THINGS THAT YOU LOOK AT SARAH, YOU LOOK AT HIS RELATIONSHIPS WITH WOMEN.

YOU LOOK AT HIS RELATIONSHIPS WITH RACE IF YOU WILL.

GIVE US A SENSE OF HIS RELATIONSHIPS WITH WOMEN.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO WATCH THIS MAY WELL BE SURPRISED ABOUT, MAY WELL BE TROUBLED ABOUT?

EVERYONE TALKS ABOUT THIS, BUT HE WAS MARRIED FOUR TIMES.

EDNA O'BRIEN SAYS AND I THINK IT'S TRUE AND HIS LETTERS VALIDATE THAT HE SORT OF LOVED TO BE IN LOVE.

HE LOVED THE ENERGY AND ADULATION AND EXPERIENCE OF FALLING IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE AND SOMETHING, I WOULD SAY.

I MEAN, THAT'S PART OF WHAT MAKES HIS WRITING SO BEAUTIFUL, IS HIS DESCRIPTIONS.

BUT HE WAS NOT VERY NICE TO THEM.

HE WAS NOT VERY NICE IN THE END TO HIS MOTHER.

HE WAS NOT GREAT TO HIS SISTERS.

HE WAS SURROUNDED BY STRONG, INDEPENDENT WOMEN.

HE ATTRACTED THEM, THEY WERE ATTRACTED TO HIM.

THEN HIS RELATIONSHIPS FELL APART.

IN HIS EARLY WRITING THE WOMEN AND HIS CHARACTERS ARE A LITTLE BIT MORE ROMANTIC.

BY THE END OF HIS WRITING, THEY'RE A LITTLE MORE EMBITTERED AN DIFFICULT, AS WAS HIS LIFE.

AS A WOMAN, WHEN YOU READ HEMINGWAY, YOU'RE NOT OFFENDED AS A WOMAN BY HIS CHARACTERS.

YOU'RE MORE ENTHRALLED BY HOW WELL HE SHOWS HOW MEN AND WOMEN TALK TO EACH OTHER, DIALOGUE, HIS RELATIONSHIPS.

HE HAS AN AMAZING EAR.

YET BECAUSE HE KEPT ALL OF HIS LETTERS AND WE KNOW HOW HE TREATED THE WIVES AND OTHER WOMEN IN HIS LIFE, YOU CAN KIND OF TRY TO HOLD BOTH THINGS.

WE MENTIONED HOW THE READERS INHABIT THE CHARACTERS.

WE TALK IN THE FILM ABOUT HOW HE'S ABLE TO INHABIT THIS CHARACTER.

YOU KNOW, JACK, THE QUESTION MIGHT BE, WHY WOULD YOU CREATE THIS FACADE OF TOXIC MASCULINITY?

HE WAS AN OUTDOORSMAN, HE WAS A BIG GAME HUNTER, HE WAS A DEEP SEA FISHERMAN, BUT WHY WOULD YOU GO TO SUCH ELABORATE LENGTHS TO CONSTRUCT THIS MYTH UNLESS YOU'RE HIDING A DEEP VULNERABILITY, A DEEP ANXIETY, SOME WORRIES, ALSO CURIOSITIES AND SENSITIVITIES.

IN A COUPLE OF SHORT STORIES HE PUTS HIMSELF FULLY INTO THE WOMEN'S POSITION, WHICH BELIES THE BAD TREATMENT LATER ON.

THE BAD TREATMENT HAPPENED AND IT'S INEXCUSABLE.

HE'S A GREAT OBSERVER OF NATURE.

HE'S A GREAT OBSERVER OF HUMAN NATURE, PARTICULARLY HOW MEN AND WOMEN GET ALONG OR DON'T GET ALONG.

HE'S AN OBSERVER OF WAR, THE WORST THING THAT WE DO.

ALL OF THESE THINGS REMIND HIM AND US OF OUR MORTALITY, THE IDEA IT CAN BE TAKEN AWAY.

UNLIKE TOLSTOY, THEY TAKE PLACE IN A MOMENT AND THE MOMENT IS EXISTENTIAL AND THE MOMENT SAYS IT COULD BE BAD BEFORE AND IT MAY BE BAD UP AHEAD, BUT WHAT YOU HAVE IS THIS MOMENT AND IN THIS MOMENT YOU CAN LIVE FOREVER IN THIS MOMENT AS THE WONDERFUL YOUNG NICK ADAMS ESSENTIALLY SAYS IN 'INDIAN CAMP,' ONE OF THE GREAT SHORT STORIES OF ALL TIME THAT I URGE EVERYONE TO READ.

IT'S ALL ABOUT MORTALITY.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE VIOLENCE AND UNFAIRNESS OF LIFE, WHICH HEMINGWAY IS CONSTANTLY AT THE EDGE OF, INHERITING MENTAL ILLNESS, PTSD FROM THE WAR, ALCOHOLISM, SELF-MEDICATION, SUICIDE OF FATHER, HIS OWN SUICIDAL IDEATION.

IT IS A TOXIC BREW, WHICH HE THEN HANDS OFF UNFORTUNATELY WIVES AND CHILDREN, INEXCUSABLE.

SOMEHOW IT MAKES ITS WAY INTO HIS WORK IN A MOSTLY POSITIVE WAY.

KEN, I WANT TO ASK YOU THOUGHTS ON SOMETHING BEFORE WE WRAP UP.

WE TALK ABOUT THIS FILM COMING OUT ON PBS.

THERE'S AN ISSUE THAT POPPED UP THE LAST COUPLE DAYS.

I'M INTERESTED IN GETTING YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT.

NEARLY 140 DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKERS HAVE SIGNED ONTO A LETTER GIVEN TO PBS SUGGESTING THAT PBS MAY PROVIDE AN UNFAIR LEVEL OF SUPPORT TO WHITE CREATORS RESULTING, IN THEIR WORDS, IN A SYSTEMIC FAILURE TO FULFILL ITS MAIN DATE FOR A DIVERSITY OF VOICES.

THE LETTER WAS TITLED 'LETTER TO PBS FROM VIEWERS LIKE US.'

THEY GO ONTO TALK ABOUT CONCERNS THEY HAVE HERE.

I SHOULD MENTION ONE OF THE WRITERS, A FILMMAKER GRACE LEE SAYS, THIS IS NOT ABOUT KEN BURNS, THIS IS ABOUT PBS.

IN THE LETTER, THEY QUESTION WHETHER OR NOT SO MANY HOURS OF FILM THAT YOU HAVE PROVIDED TO PBS OVER THE YEARS, WHETHER IT LEAVES LESS ROOM, THEIR WORDS, FOR FILMMAKERS OF COLOR WHO MAY STRUGGLE TO GAIN SIMILAR FUNDING OR PROMOTIONAL SUPPORT.

SUCH AN ISSUE CAN ALSO CREATE A FALSE NARRATIVE THAT NON-WHITE ARTISTS ARE PREDOMINANTLY LOOKING IN EXPERIENCE.

PBS ESSENTIALLY AND I SHOULD SAY THIS LETTER IS AVAILABLE ON THE GROUP'S WEBSITE.

IT'S CALLED 'BEYOND INCLUSION' AND LED BY A NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE BLACK, INDIGENOUS AND PEOPLE OF COLOR.

GRACE LEE IS SAYING IT'S NOT ABOUT KEN BURNS.

THIS IS ABOUT PUBLIC TELEVISION LIVING UP TO ITS MANDATE.

PBS RESPONDED, RELEASED A STATEMENT PUSHING BACK SAYING AMONG OTHER THINGS 35% OF THE 200 HOURS OF NONFICTION PROGRAMMING PLANNED FOR PRIME TIME THIS YEAR WAS PRODUCED BY DIVERSE FILMMAKERS.

PBS PRESIDENT PAULA CARTER SAYS PBS SHOULD EXAM WHERE ITS FUNDING AND RESOURCES ARE GOING TO ENSURE THAT FILMMAKERS ARE BEING TREATED EQUITABLY.

IT'S AN IMPORTANT MOMENT FOR ALL OF US.

KEN, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE LETTER AND THE CONCERNS THAT ARE BEING ARTICULATED THERE?

FIRST OF ALL, I DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY AND I AGREE WITH PAULA, BUT I ALSO AGREE WITH THEM.

THEY'VE GOT AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE THEY WANT TO DO.

ONE OF THE MANY, MANY REASONS I'VE SPENT MY ENTIRE PROFESSIONAL LIFE IN PUBLIC BROADCASTING IS BECAUSE OF ITS COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY.

IT'S ALLOWED ME TO TELL DIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE STORIES.

I DON'T MAKE THESE FILMS BY MYSELF.

SARAH IS HERE AND WE REPRESENT A LOT OF DIVERSE PRODUCERS AND DIRECTORS AND EDITORS AND CONSULTANTS AND SCHOLARS THAT ARE ALL INVOLVED, THAT THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WE HAVE TO CONSTANTLY IMPROVE.

IT'S LIKE IN PURSUIT OF A MORE PERFECT UNION.

WE HAVE TO BE BETTER.

SO I WHOLEHEARTEDLY ENDORSE THE OBJECTIVES OF WHAT THEY'RE SAYING AND WILL DO EVERYTHING I CAN TO HELP MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

PROBABLY A GOOD SPOT FOR US TO WRAP UP.

WE COULD TALK FOR HOURS ABOUT THIS.

AGAIN, IT IS A MARVELOUS FILM.

MARC DUDLY, SARAH BOTSTEIN AND KEN BURNS, THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR SPENDING TIME WITH US.

YOU ALL BE WELL.

THANK YOU.

YOU TOO.

THANK YOU.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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