Hemingway

Mar 29, 2021

Mon., Apr. 5–Wed., Apr. 7 at 8pm on WKAR-HD 23.1 & STREAMING | Hemingway, a three-part, six-hour documentary film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, examines the visionary work and the turbulent life of Ernest Hemingway, one of the greatest and most influential writers America has ever produced.

Interweaving his eventful biography—a life lived at the ultimately treacherous nexus of art, fame and celebrity—with carefully selected excerpts from his iconic short stories, novels and non-fiction, the series reveals the brilliant, ambitious, charismatic and complicated man behind the myth and the art he created. Hemingway is directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick; written by Geoffrey C. Ward and produced by Sarah Botstein, Novick and Burns.

The documentary paints an intimate picture of Hemingway, the writer—who captured on paper the complexities of the human condition in spare and profound prose and whose work remains deeply influential around the world—while also penetrating the myth of Hemingway, the man’s man, to reveal a deeply troubled and ultimately tragic figure. The film also explores Hemingway’s limitations and biases as an artist and a man of his time.

Hemingway is informed by interviews with celebrated writers, scholars and Hemingway’s son Patrick. The filmmakers explore the painstaking process through which Hemingway created some of the most important works of fiction in American letters, including novels The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea and short stories Hills Like White Elephants, The Short and Happy Life of Francis Macomber, Up in Michigan, Indian Camp and The Snows of Kilimanjaro, as well as the nonfiction works Death in the Afternoon and A Moveable Feast.

Ernest Hemingway, “...loved being in love,” the writer Michael Katakis says in the film. He married four times over the course of his tumultuous life and had three sons. His relationships with women—his mother, sisters, wives and the World War I nurse who broke his heart—profoundly affected his work, yet for all his bravado and hyper-masculine posturing, Hemingway wrote about relationships between men and women with sensitivity, nuance and clarity. As writer Edna O’Brien says on camera, he was able to put himself, “...inside the skin...” of the others and give voice to women’s deepest emotions.

A Writer (1899–1929) | Mon. Apr. 5
Hemingway moves to Paris to write. He finds success with his second novel, A Farewell to Arms.

The Avatar (1929–1944) | Tue. Apr. 6
Hemingway, having achieved literary fame, takes his talents to report on the Spanish Civil War.

The Blank Page (1944–1961) | Wed. Apr. 7
Hemingway publishes The Old Man and the Sea but is overcome by his declining mental condition.

Watch each episode at video.wkar.org during or after the premiere date.

MORE ABOUT HEMINGWAY:
Hemingway is a production of Florentine Films and WETA, Washington, D.C. It is directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick; written by Geoffrey C. Ward and produced by Burns, Novick and Sarah Botstein. Original music is produced by Johnny Gandelsmen with additional music created by longtime Florentine collaborator David Cieri.