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NOVA: Saving the National Treasures
NOVA Saving the National Treasures
Actors: Eriq La Salle, Liev Schreiber
Directors: Ellen Hovde, Muffie Meyer
Genres: Documentary
NR     2005     1hr 0min

History meets technology in the ultimate preservation project. The nation's charters of freedom are in trouble. Since its creation over 200 years ago, the Declaration of Independence has seen plenty of abuse -- escaping Br...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Eriq La Salle, Liev Schreiber
Directors: Ellen Hovde, Muffie Meyer
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Politics, Science & Technology
Studio: WGBH Boston
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 04/26/2005
Original Release Date: 01/01/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Breathing new life into America's sacred charters
Kyle Tolle | Phoenix, Arizona USA | 08/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The big 3 of U.S. historical documents are the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights. They are on display each day of the year except Christmas at the National Archives and all of their futures are uncertain.

Over the course of decades, these treasures have seen their fair share of deterioration and the aging process has not been kind. This was not lost on anyone and during a 5 year period at a cost of almost 5 million dollars, a demanding and painstaking process was undertaken to help save these most important papers.

A world class team of physicists, chemists, engineers, and conservators were assembled to tackle this delicate project and their efforts are explored here. Besides designing and building new casements, several members had to unseal, examine, and restore all of the documents, if possible, to a more pristine condition.

The state of the art technology used in making the new casements is fascinating. The process is both laborious and meticulous and it is shown here in good detail. Also reworked was a new design for the rotunda at the National Archives to showcase the refurbished documents and that project is looked at also.

Distributed in-between the main chapters of saving the documents, there are several interesting segments on the long and detailed history of the Declaration of Independence which happens to be the most revered of them all.

NOVA isn't known for many extended length documentaries beyond the one hour mark and this is mostly what I've seen from them. In my opinion, they are very adept at producing high quality shows in compact time frames that rarely disappoint. `Saving the National Treasures' is no exception and this was an enjoyable and educational program that I would recommend to everyone.