Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies is a three-part, six-hour major television event from preeminent documentary filmmaker Ken Burns. Based on the 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, the series is the most comprehensive documentary on a single disease ever made. This “biography” of cancer covers its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the 20th century to cure, control and conquer it, to a radical new understanding of its essence at a time when we are at an inflection point in knowledge and treatment — the dawn of an era in which cancer may become a chronic or curable illness rather than its historic death sentence in some forms. Ken Burns Presents: Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies is a production of Florentine Films, Laura Ziskin Pictures, and WETA Washington, D.C., in association with Ark Media.
The series matches the epic scale of the disease, reshaping the way the public sees cancer and stripping away some of the fear and misunderstanding that has long surrounded it. The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience and perseverance but also of hubris, paternalism and misperception. Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective and a biographer’s passion. The series artfully weaves three different films in one: a riveting history documentary; an engrossing and intimate vérité film; and a scientific and investigative report. Stream this series now thru 4/30 at pbs.org or purchase it HERE .
Engage with this historic project online by:
- Sharing your story or the story of a loved one HERE
- Visit the project website at www.cancerfilms.org
- Like the project on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CancerFilm
- Use @CancerFilm and #CancerFilm on Twitter
Clare Smith shares a story about her father, Jim Loftus. Listen HERE.
Nicole Vasilevsky shares how cancer has impacted her life. Listen HERE.
Lance Mackey shares how cancer has impacted his life. Watch HERE and Listen HERE.
Melissa Allen shares a story about her grandfather, Jack Lewis Allen. Watch HERE and Listen HERE.
When cancer strikes, a person’s life is often turned upside down, while family and friends struggle to cope with the emotions of the diagnosis and the lengthy and sometimes painful treatments. Despite progress, the disease remains fearsome. In our lifetimes, half of all men and one in three women will receive a diagnosis of cancer. For years, cancer was a shameful secret. Now, a huge number of us are “living cancer” thanks to more successful treatments.
To explore the latest developments in cancer and continuing controversies in the field, NPR and Member station WNYC present the series “Living Cancer,” airing on Morning Edition and All Things Considered during the weeks of February 9 and March 23. The series is produced in conjunction with Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies. Additionally, on On the Media’s March 29 episode (9 am on KUAC FM) hosts Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield are joined by author Siddhartha Mukherjee. They discuss how the media covers cancer, and how that coverage shapes research, cancer funding, and the public perception of the disease.
KUAC’s efforts in promoting Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies are made possible by WETA and Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.
Funding for Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies is provided by Genentech, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, David H. Koch, Siemens, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Kovler Fund, and The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.
Outreach partners are Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation; the American Association for Cancer Research; and the American Cancer Society.
March Special Cancer TV Programming