Search - Legacy - The Origins of Civilization [3 DVD Set] on DVD

Legacy - The Origins of Civilization [3 DVD Set]
Legacy - The Origins of Civilization
3 DVD Set
Actor: Michael Wood
Director: Peter Spry-Leverton
Genres: Kids & Family, Television, Educational, Documentary
UR     2003     6hr 0min

Historian Michael Wood stands in the Iraqi desert amid crumbling ruins and dry desolation. He describes a once-thriving metropolis, where merchants brought their goods into the city over a network of lush canals. All that ...  more »


Larger Image

Movie Details

Actor: Michael Wood
Director: Peter Spry-Leverton
Genres: Kids & Family, Television, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Kids & Family, Television, Educational, Documentary
Studio: Carlton
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/01/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 6hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

Similar Movies

The Story of India
Director: Jeremy Jeff
   NR   2009   6hr 0min
In Search of the Trojan War
Director: Bill Lyons
   NR   2004   5hr 45min

Movie Reviews

Beautiful and engrossing
Duke M | California, United States | 09/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a wonderful series...beautifully photographed, and thoroughly engrossing. Michael Wood's enthusiasm for his subject is infectious. His narration is far from stale lecture - it is accessible, expressive and deeply moving at times.

What I enjoyed most about the series was the fact that there were no "dramatic re-enactments" of historical places, people and events. ( NBC did in a mini-series made a few years after the release of "Legacy," complete with lots of simulated violence.) Rather than using computer generated models of cities, Wood takes us to the actual sites, passes through their crumbling walls, walks their time-worn streets and makes them come alive for us.

Many of those cities are inhabited to this day, and rather than use costumed actors to depict the ancient residents, we instead see them reflected in the faces of their living descendants. We see how something of the ancients endures to this day in the appearance and customs of common people, often in unexpected ways. We learn that human nature hasn't changed over the millenia as much as we might like to believe it has...a bit disheartening at first, but Wood shares his hope that we might learn from the mistakes of those who came before us.

I had just started to transfer my worn VHS tapes to DVD when I discovered they are now available in that format!"
Naive, slightly dippy, fun and five stars!
James S. Dodds | 04/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a whirlwind tour of the history and origins of four distinct civilizations. Wood is a little too "aw shucksy" through the whole thing, if a Brit can be that, and very quick to laud the accomplishments of ancient civilizations and present them as a counterpoint to the excesses and short-sightedness of the West. At times his love-fest with the Eastern past is a little naive, overlooking the negative. It's a detailed yet shallow and unsophisticated reading of history, and the anti-Western slant is occasionally a little mean-spirited (but not necessarily incorrect). So why five stars?

It's still FUN. And a viewer can learn a lot. If you are a sophisticated viewer you'll immediately see through the series' limitations and still pick up some goodies. If the viewer is not so experienced in history it will make him or her re-examine their views of the ascendency of the West. In the end, as a counterpoint to the West's jingoism and ethnocentrism this series is a welcome and valuable contribution, despite or perhaps because of its rather hackneyed approach. Should be required viewing for all, if nothing else as a jumping-off point for discussion."
Capturing the essence of the ancient world
S. Scobie | Beckenham, U.K. | 08/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I found this series of documentaries to be well presented, thought provoking, and enlightening. Recommended viewing to anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of the world and its cultures. You come away feeling proud of human achievements and with a true sense that an open mind about our fellow man is both practical and the only way in which to develop. A truly international historical and cultural guide, well scripted and very enjoyable."
Been waiting for this on cd for years !
Thomas R. Schwald | Illinois | 07/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This pbs series made in the 80s will explain why we are where we are in the world today.It shows how the western world got to where it is.It is a valuable tool in understanding world civilizations and their cultures.I think if world leaders would have watched this series we might not be at war.People need to understand the great differances in cultures."