The Congress (1989)

The Congress (1989)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Congress Photos

Movie Info

Renowned documentary-maker Ken Burns uses archival film clips, interviews, newspaper stories, and journals to bring the story of the U.S. Congress and the characters involved in its fascinating and sometimes dubious history to life. The film explores the popularly-elected Legislative branch of our government and observes its modes of functioning, along with its past and present strengths and weaknesses. Famous historical figures who served as Congressmen (Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and others) are featured, as are contemporary members and events. Burns uses his skills to draw our sometimes admiring, sometimes skeptical attitudes toward this group of power-entrusted individuals into full perspective, pointing out the valuable role the Congress is designed to serve - potentially providing balance in extreme situations or weighted political atmospheres.
Documentary , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


David McCullough
as Narrator

Critic Reviews for The Congress

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Audience Reviews for The Congress

Ken Burns never fails to remind the viewer of why America is so great. Colorful stories and beautiful cinematography abound in this film, which has subsequently inspired me to learn more about how the House and the Senate work together and independently.

Luke W
Luke W

76/100. Very comprehensive documentary, very educational and informative. Some of the archive footage is amazing. Beautifully done, very well pieced together, impressive narration and interviews. Director Ken Burns always delivers a good documentary.

James Higgins
James Higgins

REVISIONIST HISTORY Boring, biased, and blah! This film had a couple of "historians" interviewed, but for the most part relied on liberal-leaning media members to paint the picture of Congress! With the exception of David McCullough and Alistaire Cook, I was shocked that Mr. Burns relied so heavily on media reporters for this film on Congress from 1789 -1978. Also, whenever there was a crook or buffoon member of congress mentioned, and they were Republican, their party was certainly identified - but not any Democrats? If there were any Dem hero's they were certainly identified - but rarely the Republicans. If my history serves me correctly the political machines were largely Democrats NOT Republicans. And, it was implied that the demise of Black American Representatives from the south serving in the House ended in 1876 with the presidency being handed to that "evil Republican" Rutherford B. Hayes (who by the way was an abolitionist!). As if Democrat Tilden would have kept reconstruction going - Tilden swept the Southern vote in the election 0f 1876! It would have been one-hundred times worse for black southerners had Tilden been elected! Biased tripe!

David David
David David

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