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Apr 11

Written by: Diana West
Monday, April 11, 2011 6:00 AM 

Something good for a change: 

My dear friends Gina and Michael Pack see their long-in-the-works documentary "Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton," written by the excellent historian Richard Brookhiser, debut tonight on PBS at 10pm (check, as they say, local listings to be sure of the time slot).

This is no common documentary. Not only is the subject one of the most exceptional men America can claim as her own, but the consistently creative and energetic skills the filmmakers use to bring this overlooked if not almost neglected Founder into modern-day, all-too-empty consciousness make for some extremely memorable, non-Ken-Burnsian dramatic sequences. Some work better than others to bring our Hamilton back to extraordinary life -- for example, his out-of-the-blue emergence from flyspeck Carribean islands where he was born a bastard and then orphaned is vividly depicted on location in St Croix and Nevis; the tragic duel that ended Hamilton's life at age 47 is shown to live on in unresolved debate amid a gathering of buttoned-down Hamilton and Burr descendants; and the conceit that the monument erected to memorialize this creator of the US banking system is in fact New York City is a lovely, original one.  

The show is getting great press (see James Bowman's review here, the Economist here) so don't miss it!

 

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