American Masters: Even Though The Whole World is Burning DVD

Single DVD

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Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin has won almost every major poetry prize that exists, including two Pulitzers. His legacy is based not only upon his writings, however, but also the singular form of environmental activism and land stewardship he embodies. Now in his 88th year, Merwin has dedicated over three decades to preserving and regenerating native plants and palms on a 19-acre site in Maui, Hawaii called the Merwin Conservancy.

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Product Description


  • Length: 82 minutes on 1 Disc
  • Number of Programs: 1
  • Country of Origin: United States


  • The preserve holds the most comprehensive private collection of palms in the world, with over 800 species. These tangible actions for the environment go hand-in-hand with his poetry, offering important insights for an era marked by environmental degradation, human disconnect with natural processes, and rapid climate change.

    Merwin is a vibrant, humorous and challenging subject, and has not been involved in a feature documentary before. Even Though the Whole World is Burning is an intimate portrait of a man who is often called a "national treasure."

  • Featuring interviews with notable literary figures and friends of Merwin, including:
    - Mathew Weiner - Emmy and Golden Globe Winner; Creator, AMC's Mad Men
    - J.D. McLatchy - Poet, Editor of the Yale Review, President of The American Academy of Arts and Letters
    - Paula Merwin - Merwin's Wife
    - Harold Bloom - Professor, Yale University; author of over 20 books of literary criticism
    - Jonathan Burnham Schwartz - Merwin's stepson, writer for The New Yorker, Vogue, New York Times, and more
    - Dr. Pualani Kanahele -Professor, University of Hawaii
    - Robert Faggen - Guggenheim Fellow and Professor, Claremont McKenna College