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Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns in Denver promoting latest project

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DENVER -- For 30 years, filmmaker Ken Burns has been producing such award-winning documentaries on the Civil War, baseball, Prohibition, jazz and many others.

His topics are uniquely American.

"Each of the films I've made asks one deceptively simple question: Who are we? Who are those strange and complicated people who call themselves Americans?" Burns said.

Films like "The West," "The Dust Bowl" and the World War II epic "The War" share familiar themes of conflict.

In modern America, nothing says conflict like the Vietnam War.

"You know what, you get lots of ideas in your head and then all of a sudden one drops down to your heart and you have to do this, you have to do this," Burns said.

And this, he did, tackling the most controversial war head-on in "The Vietnam War."

"I thought when I began this, ah, something I know about.  Forget what baggage I carry or what point of view I had," Burns said.

"I knew something about it. But this was a daily humiliation for 10 years realizing I knew nothing."

Burns hopes that will be the takeaway when people see it.

He also believes one thing will resonate with Americans after they see "The Vietnam War," that blaming the men who fought it was wrong.

"We're never going to blame, ever again, our soldiers," he said. "I think when you meet our heroic men and women that we interviewed, it will blow your mind how impressively brave they are."

Burns said he never makes films about subjects he knows about, but only subjects he wants to know about.

Like the Vietnam War.

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