Over the years we’ve heard about many different “generations” — from the Greatest Generation to Generation X. Now, thanks to the American Masters series on PBS, the Baby Boomer generation gets the spotlight with The Boomer List premiering September 23rd, a documentary from filmmaker/ photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.
American Masters: The Boomer List executive producer, Michael Kantor explained the reason for the show: “This year marks an important shift in American culture, as the last baby boomers turn 50. This documentary tells of the influential generation through the lives of various iconic boomers, those born from 1946 to 1964.”
The shows depict the key moments and changes that shaped the world during the “Boomers” formative years, including the environment, arts and entertainment, science, civil rights, women’s rights, law, politics, sports, the military, technology, etc. Intimate interviews by filmmaker/ photographer Timothy Greenfield Sanders focus on the individuals’ exceptional achievements, struggles, and identities, sharing their experiences and the history they lived through.
The story of this influential generation is told through the lives of 19 iconic boomers — one born each year of the baby boom: 1946 Tim O’Brien, Vietnam vet and author; 1947 Deepak Chopra, M.D., New Age guru; 1948 Samuel L. Jackson, actor; 1949 Billy Joel, singer-songwriter; 1950 Steve Wozniak, co-founder, Apple Computer; 1951 Tommy Hilfiger, fashion designer; 1952 Amy Tan, author; 1953 Eve Ensler, playwright; 1954 Julieanna Richardson, founder, The History Makers; 1955 Maria Shriver, journalist; 1956 Kim Cattrall, actor; 1957 Virginia Rometty, CEO, IBM; 1958 Ellen Ochoa, Director, Johnson Space Center; 1959 Ronnie Lott, athlete; 1960 Erin Brockovich, environmentalist; 1961 Peter Staley, AIDS activist; 1962 Rosie O’Donnell, entertainer; 1963 David LaChapelle, artist; 1964 John Leguizamo, actor. The subjects illuminate the key movements and changes that shaped the world during the baby boom years.
Kim Cattrall, representing 1956, has had an impressive acting career that spans film, stage, and television. Best known as Samantha Jones on the Sex and the City series and movies, she earned a Golden Globe, two SAG awards, and five Emmy nominations. Among her recent roles was the Masterpiece miniseries Any Human Heart. Kim has also written several bestselling books and is the founder of Fertile Ground Productions.
Ironically, Cattrall said she never really considered herself a baby boomer until she was asked to do the American Masters project. During the recent TV Critics press tour she explained, “I thought Boomers were people who were ten years older than me. I’m actually relieved to find out that I do belong to this baby boomer generation. One of the great things about getting older is feeling part of something. We survived a lot of decades at this point, and I look back with a lot of empathy. I find myself being more maternal towards the younger Kim. I want to go back in time and say, ‘It’s going to be okay. You are going to survive it.’”
After doing the Boomer show, Cattrall said she’s interested in finding a forum to speak to this generation, “because I feel that we are the biggest generation out there, and nobody [except PBS]is really addressing us as far as entertainment. I find this very frustrating, and that’s why PBS is such an important part of my viewing appetite.”
She added, “I want to speak about this generation in my work. I have just executive produced [with HBO Canada]a show called Sensitive Skin. I am interested in making programming for actresses and stories of women in their sixties. That’s why I got the rights to the series. And, finally, after nine years, it’s realized. These are really fascinating stories, and I’m just shocked that there isn’t more programming for us out there. The biggest generation that ever was is completely ignored, and I want to do something about that. This Boomer documentary feeds into that and is an important statement to make.”
The Boomer List is a celebration of a generation and its impact on American culture through an incredible chorus of voices. Tune in.