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Ken Burns’ lost GM funding
Can the documentarian continue to make films without the car company's backing?

“The financial crisis strikes again,” said The Washington Times. Struggling General Motors Corp. announced “the end of its 22-year support for Emmy Award–winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.” It looks as if The National Parks: America's Best Idea, a six-part series to air this fall on public television, will be “Burns' last GM-backed project.”

It’s too bad, said Robert Snell in The Detroit News, as “the partnership paired an iconic American company with an Academy Award–nominated chronicler of America's watershed moments and personalities such as Mark Twain and Frank Lloyd Wright.” But it’s not surprising: GM “recently ended an endorsement deal with PGA golfer Tiger Woods" and opted not to advertise during Super Bowl XLIII or the 2009 Academy Awards.

True, said Gawker, but Tiger Woods and the others “can probably bounce back with their remaining kajillions intact. Burns, on the other hand, relied pretty heavily on GM's 35 percent stake in each of his films,” such as The Civil War and Jazz. Hopefully, the “meticulous documentarian” can find the funds to continue his great work.

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