Recorded live at the KSFR studios in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
It’s been 40 years since our guest today, Glenn Silber’s Academy-Award-nominated documentary “The War at Home” was released, more than 50 years since the movement it depicts began in Madison, Wisconsin with a public protest against the then-just-starting war in Vietnam in 1963.
It was five years after that that Silber arrived on the campus of the University of Wisconsin, by which time, “the Resistance” movement in Madison had spawned a peaceful “Be-in” in 1966 and, in 1967, a much-less-than-peaceful demonstration against on campus recruiting by Dow Chemicals, maker of the loathed, weaponized jelly called napalm.
He says he could feel the history, and the desperate emotions that hung in the campus air like tear gas fumes after demonstrators were forcefully dispersed by local police. But for Glenn, and his film-making partner Barry Alexander Brown, “feeling it” wasn’t enough. They wanted to capture that moment in American history by making a film which looked at what had happened in Madison and listened to many of the people who made those things happen.
The War at Home was the beginning of a distinguished career. Glenn Silber was also nominated in 1981 for a second feature-length documentary “El Salvador: Another Vietnam.” In all he’s made 10 full-length documentary and 90 primetime magazine shows for ABC and CBS News, and most recently, his Emmy-nominated “A Death in St. Augustine” for PBS’ Frontline. Glenn has received two Emmy awards, the George Polk award, a Columbia-DuPont Silver Baton, the IRE (Investigative Reporters & Editors) award, among dozens of other major awards.
Glenn Silber is a documentary filmmaker and long-time network television news producer who has produced 90 prime-time newsmagazine stories for various CBS News and ABC News broadcasts, as well as ten independent documentaries, primarily for PBS.
Silber was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary: for The War at Home (1979) and El Salvador: Another Vietnam (1981). He has received two Emmy Awards, the George Polk Award, a Columbia-DuPont Silver Baton, the IRE (Investigative Reporters & Editors) Award; a Writers Guild Award, among dozens of awards and citations for his work as an independent producer and broadcast journalist.
His most recent documentary work includes: Producer/Director/Writer on the one-hour investigative report, A DEATH IN ST. AUGUSTINE for Frontline, in partnership with the NY Times which was nominated for an Emmy for Best Investigative Reporting. He was also Senior Producer & Writer on the ABC News Productions’ one-hour Special for Discovery I.D, ADNAN SYED: INNOCENT OR GUILTY, about the crime story at the heart of the Season One “Serial” podcast that had 144 million downloads.
Silber was the recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for Filmmaking and was a Directing Fellow at the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Film Studies. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (Documentary Branch).