‘Jackie Robinson’ doc explores complex life
By Jon Weisman
Tonight, the two-night, four-hour documentary “Jackie Robinson” premieres on PBS. In this piece for Dodger Insider magazine, I interviewed Ken Burns about how the documentary seeks to humanize a figure that time has made more mythological.
With each passing year, the stature of Jackie Robinson looms larger in the history of baseball and the United States.
But it has been nearly 70 years since Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier, nearly 60 years since he retired from baseball and well over 40 years since he passed away. And in that time, the flesh-and-blood Robinson has only grown more and more remote.
“This is a person who has become kind of one-dimensional, [because] heroism in our media culture tends to make you just one-dimensional — perfect,” said famed documentarian Ken Burns, who with his daughter Sarah and son-in-law David McMahon directed and produced the four-hour “Jackie Robinson,” airing in April on PBS. …