Before FEMA

KEN BURNS’S ‘THE DUST BOWL’

The language of the Bible haunts the latest documentary by Ken Burns. There are descriptions of “plagues” that sound like the book of Exodus. At one point, a camera zooms in on an old newspaper bearing a citation from Ezekiel. At another, a solemn voice-over, reading from the work of a long-ago journalist, alludes to Hosea 8:7—“They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”

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About the Author

Celia Wren is Commonweal’s media and stage critic.