TV Documentary Highlights KY History

A new documentary premieres on KET this week, focusing on how the land of Kentucky shaped the Commonwealth's history and how those stories reflect the history of the country.

Historian Daniel Blake Smith produced Kentucky--An American Story. The film includes stories about Daniel Boone and the Cumberland Gap, horse farms, and coal.

"People have all kinds of stereotypical views of this state when really when you look at its history - and I don't mean just in the distant past, I mean all the way up to the present - it mirrors the American story in really revealing and instructive ways."

Smith, a former University of Kentucky professor, says he wanted the film to be thought-provoking and entertaining.

"There's a lot of unpredictability about the past. And I think when you dramatize that, you bring it to life and make people think, well my goodness these were sometimes courageous, sometimes foolish, but in every case powerful, dramatic choices people were making.'"

The documentary includes insights from UK history professors and narration by Ashley Judd. It was directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Wagner.

Smith is also developing a second episode that explores the people of the Bluegrass State.

Kentucky--An American Story debuts Tuesday at 8 p.m. EDT on KET.