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Ancient Mysteries: Human Sacrifice
Ancient Mysteries Human Sacrifice
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
NR     2006     0hr 50min

Human blood. The ancients believed this precious substance to be the ultimate gift that anyone could offer the Gods. Join us as we explore the ancient mysteries of human sacrifice. Investigate a mysterious European culture...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Educational, History
Studio: A&E Home Video
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 09/26/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 0hr 50min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A survey on a widespread practice
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 03/24/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Initially, I was very worried that this documentary would position Europe/the West as better than people of color/the developing world because of the West's longstanding disapproval of human sacrifice. However, this work makes sure always to point out that the practice happened in Europe as well. I love the way the documentary suggests that tales of human sacrifice in 19th-Century India were fabricated by a self-interested Englishman. However, this work unfortunately implies that everything the Spanish conquistadores wrote about the Aztecs was true and not written from self-motive.

This documentary does not have an ethnically diverse cast of experts, but it is diverse in terms of gender. The work focuses on some Judeo-Christian matters and I'm a bit surprised that there was more focus on Jewish history, rather than an equal focus on Jewish and Christian history (given the religious makeup of this country). A translator constantly speaks for one interviewee, but the interviewee seemed to be speaking English. I don't know why they didn't just use subtitles. If it were another language, it sure seemed to have many similarities to English.

Professors often suggest that it's difficult to decide whether to teach a survey course or go in depth into one subject. This documentary felt superficial in some ways. If you know about the Aztecs, the bog people of Europe, and the Biblical story of Abraham, then you'll learn nothing new here. I don't know why this work paid so much attention to India when it emphasizes that the practice is only speculative there. This work could have covered Polynesia or the Vikings as facts suggest they really sacrificed humans.

At one point, Leonard Nimoy states in his narration that those sacrificed to Aztec gods were often handsome men. I wish more was said about those sacrificed anywhere and everywhere. If this was a worldwide human phenomenon, did humans pick the best or the worst? Were nobility sacrificed or criminals and the differently-abled? I wish the work had said more about whether the "victims" came from the top or the bottom of societies."