Liz West CC BY 2.0

Boston College’s Robsham Theater will host the premiere of the documentary “Walden” on Wednesday, November 8, at 7:30 p.m.. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with recording artist and Walden Woods Project founder Don Henley, documentarian and executive producer Ken Burns, H’09, and co-director Erik Ewers.

Two complimentary tickets are available to any individual with a valid Boston College ID, and must be picked up in person at the Robsham Theater box office in advance of the event. The public may purchase tickets at the box office or via the theater’s online ticket site. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the educational programs of the non-profit Walden Woods Project.

Don Henley
The event will feature a Q&A with recording artist and Walden Woods Project founder Don Henley (David McClister)

The short film examines the relationship between the philosophy of 19th-century author Henry David Thoreau and contemporary societal and environmental challenges. CNN Presidential Historian Douglas Brinkley, a professor of history at Rice University, will moderate the discussion.

Since 1990, the non-profit Walden Woods Project has been dedicated to protecting the historic woods where Thoreau first championed the concept of land conservation.

Thoreau’s classic Walden; or, Life in the Woods chronicled the lessons the author learned during 1846 and 1847, years he spent living near what was then a remote pond in Concord, Mass. The book is widely recognized as one of the founding treatises on conservation and the environment.

Best known as a founder of the legendary rock band the Eagles, as well as an influential solo artist, Henley has maintained an extraordinary commitment to music and to various philanthropic efforts throughout his career, including a dedication to environmental issues and artists’ rights.

Read an interview with Don Henley in advance of the film's premiere: Boston Globe; Ken Burns comments in Metro Boston.
Ken Burns at Boston College in 2009
'Walden' executive producer Ken Burns, shown here during his Commencement address at BC in 2009, will attend the film premiere Nov. 8. (Gary Wayne Gilbert)

In 1990, Henley founded the non-profit Walden Woods Project ( to protect the historic woods near Walden Pond from encroaching development. Since then, Walden Woods Project has grown into one of the preeminent preservation organizations in the U.S., using conservation, education, research and advocacy to preserve the land, literature and legacy of Henry David Thoreau in order to foster an ethic of environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

Ken Burns has been making films for almost forty years.  Since the Academy Award-nominated "Brooklyn Bridge" in 1981, he has directed and produced some of the most critically praised historical documentaries ever made. Most recently, in September, "The Vietnam War premiered on PBS to widespread acclaim. In 2009, Boston College awarded Burns an honorary degree for his achievements as a filmmaker and historian.

“Walden” was directed by Christopher and Erik Ewers, and produced by Julie Coffman of Ewers Brothers Productions, in consultation with Walden Woods Project.

– Ed Hayward | University Communications