The Incomparable Mr. Buckley

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WNET’s American Masters

William F. Buckley, Jr. was an American public intellectual, conservative author and commentator, authoring more than 50 books over the course of his career. In 1955 Buckley founded the National Review, a magazine that stimulated the conservative movement in the late-20th century United States. Buckley hosted 1,429 episodes of the public affairs television show Firing Line (1966–1999), the longest-running public affairs show in US television history with a single host. Buckley fused traditional conservatism and classical liberalism thereby laying the groundwork for the rightward shift in the Republican Party exemplified by Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. Along the way, Buckley was a journalist, novelist, politician, debater, orator, loving husband and father, but first and foremost he was a conversationalist and storyteller who profoundly changed America. Directed by Barak Goodman.


Barak Goodman

Over more than three decades, Barak Goodman has become one of the most prolific and honored non-fiction filmmakers. A co-founder of Ark Media, his films have been nominated for an Academy Award and won multiple Emmy and Peabody Awards, the RFK Journalism Prize, and three times been official selections at the Sundance Film Festival. Among Barak’s recent films are SLAY THE DRAGON with Participant Media and Magnolia Films, called by Variety “the most important political film of the year, and it may prove to be one of the key political films of the decade”, and LINCOLN’S DILEMMA, a reexamination of our greatest president’s role in emancipation for Apple TV. Among a dozen films Barak has directed for the PBS series AMERICAN EXPERIENCE are OKLAHOMA CITY, the Peabody Award-winning exploration of the worst domestic terrorist attack in American history; MY LAI, the Emmy and Peabody award-winning film on America’s worst war crime; and SCOTTSBORO, the Academy Award-nominated documentary on the trial of black teenagers falsely accused of rape in Depression-era Alabama.  Barak was also at the helm of the four-hour series CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES and its sequel GENE: AN INTIMATE HISTORY, both executive produced by Ken Burns. He also directed or co-directed six films for the PBS series FRONTLINE, including the Peabody Award-winning LOST CHILDREN OF ROCKDALE COUNTY and the Columbia Du-Pont winning series FAILURE TO PROTECT.

Brian Funck

Brian Funck is an editor and producer of award-winning documentaries for film and television. Recent projects include two investigative true-crime series, My Brother’sBomber (two Emmy Awards) and Who Killed Malcolm X? (Emmy nominee), which were instrumental in the arrest of new suspects or the exoneration of old ones. Brian was an editor and co-producer of the PBS-Frontline documentaries, Confronting ISIS and Separated: Children at the Border, both of which won a Peabody Award. He was editor and co-writer of I.M. Pei: Building China Modern for PBS-American Masters(CINE Golden Eagle Award) and After the Fall: HIV Grows Up, which won a SIMA Award for Best Editing Documentary Short. He was also an editor on Happy Valley, which premiered at Sundance, and a contributing editor on Long Strange Trip, which was shortlisted for an Academy Award.

Photo credit:

William F. Buckley. (Courtesy of Everett Collection Historical / Alamy Stock Photo)

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