Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
This excellent documentary on one of America's most well-known national symbols was nominated for an Academy Award in 1985. Director (Ken Burns) details the perilous history of the Grand Dame, the difficulties in creating her in a Paris suburb and shipping her to New York, and then the heated arguments that arose Stateside as to whether or not she should even be set up in New York's harbor. Pity the dedicated French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi who created her with infinite care, a topic covered by photographs and narration in the first segment of the film. As famous immigrants comment on the meaning of the Statue of Liberty to themselves, it is noted that at the time of her inauguration in 1886 her 152-ft. height on top of a 150-ft. pedestal made her the tallest structure in the U.S. Director Burns quite fairly points out that to some Americans, including Afro-Americans, the Statue of Liberty does not necessarily raise her torch for everyone equally. Nevertheless, The Statue of Liberty is an entertaining documentary by any measure.