A Doc Film Appropriate for a Blizzard

 

Actually, I briefly considered trying to be mildly amusing about this, but decided to show some unexpected good taste.

You probably have heard that we are in the midst of a  blizzard here in New Jersey and New York. As I wrote to my students today canceling class in Hunter College’s Department of Film and Media Studies, I somehow remembered to recommend a superb and weather-appropriate documentary that is now available for free streaming on the PBS video site.

Check out the The Donner Party,  a film by Ric Burns.

The story of this ill-fated, 1846 journey to California in the midst of a brutal winter is riveting. As a kid growing up in Southern California, it was a story told many times, as if the desperate attempt to make it to California was somehow confirmation of that state’s status as a mythical golden land.