Broadcasters around the world including BBC, RAI, YLE, NRK, and Sky Network Television have picked up the series directed by award-winning filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.
PBS International has licensed "Hemingway", a six-hour documentary series directed by award-winning filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick ("The Vietnam War", "Prohibition", "The War"), to broadcasters around the world including BBC (United Kingdom), RAI (Italy), YLE (Finland), NRK (Norway), and Sky Network Television (New Zealand) with more buyers signing on in advance of the PBS broadcast in the U.S. from April 5 – 7, 2021.
"Hemingway" paints an intimate picture of 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 his limitations and biases as an artist.
“'Hemingway' is both an intimate, turbulent family saga and an examination of some of the greatest works of literature in the 20th century,” said director Ken Burns. “We are unsparing in our inquiry into less well-known aspects of his character and writing. Our intent is to offer viewers an honest portrayal of a complex and conflicted writer who left an indelible mark on literature.”
“In an era when people are re-evaluating so many icons, 'Hemingway' is a particularly compelling figure to revisit," said director Lynn Novick. "He was hugely complicated, deeply flawed, and he truly revolutionized the art of writing. One of the great revelations of this project was sitting down with renowned writers from around the world—Mario Vargas Llosa, Edna O’Brien, Abraham Verghese, Leonardo Padura, Mary Karr—and hearing them share their insights into Hemingway's work and why he is still important today.”
“One of the great challenges of this project,” said producer Sarah Botstein, “was finding ways—visually, cinematically—to show how Hemingway honed his craft and how he used words to such extraordinary effect. In collaboration with our editors, we deployed all the tools in our filmmaking toolbox—graphic effects, archival footage and photographs, live cinematography, sound effects—to make Hemingway’s work come fully alive on screen.”
Narrated by long-time collaborator Peter Coyote, the series features an all-star cast of actors bringing Hemingway (voiced by Jeff Daniels), his friends and family vividly to life. Through letters to and from his four wives—voiced by Meryl Streep, Keri Russell, Mary-Louise Parker and Patricia Clarkson—the film reveals Hemingway at his most romantic and his most vulnerable, grappling at times with insecurity, anxiety and existential loneliness.