Screening Room

MIPCOM Picks 2011: Prohibition

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick distill (sorry, couldn't resist the pun) the Prohibition years into five captivating hours, using expert interviews and, of course, scads of painstakingly-sourced archival footage and photos.
September 26, 2011

PROHIBITION

Partners: Florentine Films and WETA, distributed by PBS International

Length: 5 x 53 minutes

Airing: October 2011 (PBS)

Rights available: Worldwide

Prohibition, enacted in the United States from 1920 to 1933, has been referred to by some as “TheNoble Experiment” and by others as a grand folly. As per the Eighteenth Amendment to the American Constitution, it banned the sale, manufacture and transportation of alcohol. It also served as the hottest of political hot potatoes, pitting the “dries” (those in favor of Prohibition, who were also vehemently opposed to the proliferation of saloons and the loose morals displayed within) against the “wets” (those who just wanted to have a drink, damn it). What may have started as a “noble” endeavor to prevent rampant alcohol abuse wound up magnifying the issue, resulting in an increase in liquor consumption amongst the young, and a ramping up of criminal behavior as neighborhood gangs transformed into national crime syndicates.

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick distill (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun) the Prohibition years into five captivating hours, using expert interviews and, of course, scads of painstakingly-sourced archival footage and photos.

About The Author
Selina Chignall joins the realscreen team as a staff writer. Prior to working with rs, she covered lobbying activity at Hill Times Publishing. She also spent a year covering the Hill as a journalist with iPolitics. Her beat focused on youth, education, democratic reform, innovation and infrastructure. She holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University and a Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.

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