After making headlines for his critically acclaimed series on the Vietnam War, Ken Burns is back with the new short “Walden,” which premieres at Boston College on Wednesday night.
The documentarian serves as an executive producer for the film about the life and writings of Henry David Thoreau. Narrated by Robert Redford, “Walden” also explores how Thoreau provided inspiration for an environmental movement that’s important to the prosperity of our country and the world at large.
“I’ve long been interested in Thoreau,” Burns said in a statement, “But like others, I’m increasingly drawn not just to the eloquence of his writings but also to the importance of them as we urgently look to create greater awareness and appreciation of nature and the environment.”
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Burns will host the premiere along with fellow filmmakers Erik Ewers and Christopher Loren Ewers, as well as musician Don Henley. After the screening, Burns, Henley and the Ewers brothers will have a discussion and field questions from the audience, moderated by CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley.
The film was created to be shown at the Walden Pond visitors’ center, but its message is much broader. Henley stressed the importance of the film in today’s society, especially in creating awareness among youth.
“There is no better way to encourage youth toward active engagement in the preservation of the planet than to awaken their intrinsic sense of wonder derived from communion with nature,” he said in a statement. “Walden Pond – the birthplace of the conservation movement – is the ideal location to foster such an ethic of environmental stewardship in people of all ages.
The nonprofit Walden Woods Project is coordinating the premiere, which will be at Boston College’s Robsham Theater. Henley founded the nonprofit in 1990 to protect the historic woods near Walden Pond from development. They’ve coordinated with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation on programs at the Walden Pond State Reservation, which is now a state park visited by over a half million people annually.
If you go:
Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m., 140 Commonwealth Ave., Chestnut Hill, $35, bc.edu