Acclaimed documentarian, Ken Burns, winner of twelve Emmy Awards and two Oscar nominations, and honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award, is taking on Cancer. CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES is based on the book by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee. The documentary examines the “War on Cancer” and provides us with a more complete understanding of how and why cancer develops and how it can be prevented and stopped.
Ken Burns has a personal connection to the project. He was only 11 years old when his mother, Lyla, died of breast cancer. ”My work as a filmmaker is directly linked to the death of my mother from cancer when I was 11. From the age of three, I watched her suffer and struggle with this awful disease, forever creating for me a desire to explore the past and to listen deeply to the stories that we all have to tell. I was frightened and exhilarated by Sid’s book and thrilled by Sharon’s suggestion that we collaborate to turn this remarkable accomplishment into a film.”
Ken Burn has expressed his gratitude to the people in the film who allowed their experiences to be included. It is heartbreaking and yet at the same time inspiring to hear the stories from families in Clyde, Ohio. Clyde Ohio has a high rate of children with cancer.
The goal of the documentary is to create a national conversation about cancer.