Constitution USA (2013)

ConstitutionMovie – Constitution USA is a new PBS four-part series about America’s ever-disputed founding document, directed by Ken Burns and hosted by NPR’s Peter Sagal of Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! It attempts to bring light and understanding to the nearly 4,500-word document, its history and important moments in its development. Peter Sagal (who is from Oak Park, IL) buys a motorcycle in Villa Park and rides all around the USA, from New England to the Hoover Dam to the Golden Gate Bridge to Little Rock, Ark., Montana and Texas.  He interviews scholars, lawyers, pundits and ordinary people about the relevance of the Constitution in the 21st Century.  Without being overly technical or dumbed-down it shows the role the Constitution plays in our everyday life. It has four segments: A More Perfect Union (federal, state and local questions), It’s a Free Country (the Bill of Rights and controversies surrounding it), Created Equal (about the Fourteenth Amendment and equal protection for individuals and groups) and finally Built to Last (the vitality and staying-power of the Constitution). All four segments have a very nice balance of commentary from scholars and regular folks, and Sagal provides a lot of wit and humor along the way.  There are many fascinating stories touching on free speech in the digital age, same-sex marriage, voting rights, separation of church and state, and presidential power in the post-9/11 world.  Each one-hour episode of Constitution USA vividly illuminates a central theme essential to the Constitution.

One thought on “Constitution USA (2013)

  1. Thanks for posting about TPT National Productions’ series for PBS, Constitution USA with Peter Sagal! FYI, the director is Stephen Ives of Insignia Films. More info, educational resources & free streaming of the complete series at pbs.org/constitutionusa

    Elaine Powell
    TPT National Productions
    Twin Cities Public Television
    St. Paul/Minneapolis

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