The world’s most celebrated documentarian takes on the “emperor of all maladies.”
Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns
During the first of three episodes of Ken Burns’ latest documentary, former Director of the National Cancer Institute Dr. Vincent DeVita, shares a memory of his aunt who had developed cancer when he was a child. “She was hidden in the attic,” he recounts with equal amounts of sadness and horror. It’s hard to believe that memories like these are as recent as they are. Just a few generations ago, most cancers were incurable and those with the disease were frequently thought of as contaminated. The very word “cancer” was uttered in hushed tones as if to isolate it from the rest of our day-to-day conversations.