Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Michael Wood, John Collee
Director: David Wallace
Worth your attention
Electrohound | Los Angeles, CA USA | 07/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some of the other reviewers have complained that this series doesn't match with the "classic" history authors on the subject. It's my opinion that this view fails to recognize how Michael Wood's documentaries usually operate. His research often has a revisionist ethic, and if you observe the credits and his interviews, many of his sources are often current versus classic experts, and he also goes out of his way, especially in this series, to get folk and indigenous perspectives.
This is in line with his general humanist approach. I for one enjoy it, and while he interprets facts with a an eye for revision or "what ifs" or "just maybe," he never abuses the subject. In fact, he takes us on a journey to question everything we might know or think we know from reading canonical texts.
This particular series is also beautifully shot and taken as a whole is a fresh educational and entertainment experience for those who know little about the Conquistadors and their importance to world history."
You feel this story
BeckDaytona | Daytona Beach, FL | 05/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Whether it shows a lot of actors in costume or not isn't really the point. He takes you through areas as a tour guide and tells you the history. The last part about De Vacca and his revelations and the extraordinary journey was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed this just as much as I do Ken Burns' documentaries, it is a different style. I don't want to see everyone do things the same way. As far as him showing art, he did show art, he also showed you by trying many things how these people survived, what they ate, how they cooked, how they made plows, how the Aztecs made weapons that were inferior to the steel ones the Spaniards came equipped with. Also, the journey of the Incas leaving their beautiful land to try and put separation between themselves and the conquistadors was heartbreaking. I very much enjoyed it and will look forward to more of Michael Wood's exuberant storytelling."
Not wide screen
AZ Mutley | Tempe AZ | 01/18/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was looking forward to watching this series after having seen Mr Wood's history of India series on PBS.
It is very informative, well made and would be a 5 star product if it were not for the fact that it's advertised as 1.85:1 (wide screen in my books) but is actually a scaled down to 4:3 wide screen.
My TV is able to zoom in, so I can compensate, but the picture quality is not what I'd been looking forward too. Hence 4 stars.
Other than that a great documentary."
Much Less when Much More was needed
Full Fathom Five | Fairfax, VA. | 02/22/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was DEEPLY disappointed by this effort by one of the best history
presenters out there. His seminal work, "Trojan War" opened whole
doors for me and is a superb production on almost every level even
if it is somewhat dated by today's standards.
But "Conquistadors" was quite another matter and one need only look
at the contents page of the book to see why. Whereas the book was SIX
chapters long, the video is only FOUR parts. Painfully for me, Wood
chose to leave out almost any mention of the Journey of Cabeza de Vaca
from the video although it is the final chapter of his book. The tale
of de Vaca is perhaps the most fantastic of the Conquistador Tales if
only for its' tragedy and futility. And these qualities are matched by
the sacrifice and determination of those same adventurers.
More to the point, it is THE classic tale of the search for the "Seven
Cities of Gold" that is the culmination of the Conquistador Era.
Instead, Wood choses to conclude with a meandering tale of lost men in
the Amazon Basin that while it is heroic it is also distant from any
of the previous tales as can be. The longer Wood worked his way down-
river the more I was reminded of his early effort in the old "Great
Rail Journeys" PBS/BBC series where he beautifully summed up the
ravages of Colonialism whilst retracing the ruined remains of the old
That interpretation of the Congo Railway was a brilliant re-tracing,
this video is just plain up the creek without a paddle. A rental, maybe.
No way a purchase. Borrow the book from the library if you like and
then if you like what you read come back here and look for reprints of
the original histories Wood drew from. Those ARE worth your time indeed."