CPTV to Premiere "Prohibition" on Sunday, October 2
HARTFORD, Conn. (September 23, 2011) – Prohibition, a new documentary by award-winning filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, explores the true story of the rise, rule, and fall of the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Although the act was once noted as “the Noble Experiment,” prohibition turned into one of America’s most notorious civic disasters. Through this three-part, five-and-a-half hour documentary series, viewers can learn about the true challenges in legislating human behavior.
Prohibition premieres Sunday, October 2; Monday, October 3; and Tuesday, October 4 at 8 p.m. on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV).
Prohibition begins with the story of America’s growing concern about alcohol abuse in the 19th century. When the availability of hard liquor spread throughout saloons and taverns, American citizens became increasingly concerned about the effects of alcohol abuse. A culture of men who neglected their wives and children in favor of liquor emerged, and families were being destroyed. Through Prohibition, Burns and Novick capture the progression of this epidemic. The film illustrates why, at the time, many American citizens saw the 18th Amendment as a means of survival.
The documentary references relentless women, like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frances Willard, and Carry Nation, who demanded societal change. At first, they rallied for temperance, but their fight evolved into outright prohibition. Through the passion and persistence of the Anti-Saloon League in the late 19th century, the 18th Amendment was ultimately ratified to the Constitution on January 16th, 1919. However, Prohibition illustrates how the Amendment was in no way a peaceful solution.
For the next thirteen years, the American nation was split by a fierce cultural divide. Law-abiding citizens turned into criminals, neighborhood gangs formed national crime syndicates, and government officials bent and broke their own laws. Viewers of Prohibition can see how the true irony of the 18th Amendment; while the enforcement of prohibition was intended to secure peace, it ultimately instilled violence, cynicism, and hypocrisy that made a mockery of the justice system. These ideals are still relevant today, and the fine line between individual rights and the role of government has become a timeless discrepancy.
About Connecticut Public Television
CPTV is a media service of the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network. It is a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, including UConn Women’s Basketball, original documentaries and educational programming. CPTV has built a reputation as a leader in children’s programming, including playing an historic role in bringing Barney & Friends™, Bob the Builder™ and Thomas & Friends™ to public television. The station offers 11 hours of positive, nurturing children’s programs each weekday, reaching 50,000 to 70,000 households daily. The Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CBPN) also includes WNPR. WNPR is an affiliate of National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media. WNPR serves over 240,000 listeners weekly in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island with news and information. Its award-winning local programming includes The Faith Middleton Show and Where We Live. Overall, the network brings a broad spectrum of public affairs, entertainment, sports and educational programming to viewers, listeners and readers. For more information, visit cptv.org.