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|Signs Out of Time|
Actors: Olympia Dukakis, Marija Gimbutas, Ralph Metzner, Colin Renfrew, Vikki Nobel
Director: Donna Read
This documentary examines the life and work of world-renowned archaeologist Dr. Marija Gimbutas. Drawing from her extensive knowledge of mythology and linguistics, Lithuanian-born Gimbutas uncovered the life-affirming and ... more »
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Slick | New York, NY | 08/07/2008
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I found Signs Out of Time to be incredibly informative. I, and I suspect most Americans, have little knowledge of prehistoric societies. As one of the archaelogists in the film notes, for most of us, civilization begins at Sumer and Egypt, and war has always been a fact of life. This film highlights the existence of Eastern European prehistoric societies (some rather large) that created art, song, and dance, and lived largely in egalitarian harmony, free of violence. A controversial figure in the dry, methodical, male-dominated field of archaelogy, Lithuanian-born Marija Gimbutas argued that many of the civilizations of Neolithic Europe were Goddess-worshipping, even matriarchal societies.
Signs Out of Time chronicles Marija Gimbutas' life as well as her fascinating discovery, and with an even hand, dares to ask a very big philosophical question: Does human civilization really have to be the way it is, so full of strife? Rarely has so much fascinating material been concisely presented in the course of one hour."
Oh, my goddess!
Shakti | Massachusetts | 04/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Excellent review of Marija Gimbutas' work with the cultures of Old Europe. Appreciated the interview footage with Gimbutas. Also liked the inclusion of information contradicting her thesis, in that it provided some balance to an otherwise very positive portrayal of a field in which there seems to be very little other work being done at present. Used this video with a course presentation on neolithic goddess religions. The biographical section was not useful to my purpose (though very interesting), but the DVD format made it easy to skip through."
DOCUMENTARY ENCOUNTERS AN INTELLECTUAL WOMAN OF TRUE SIGNIFI
Thom Browning | New York, NY | 02/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"SIGNS OUT OF TIME is driven by the personal life-narrative of Dr. Maria Gimbutas (who has often times been referred to as the female Joseph Campbell.) She was an archaeologist and intellectual whose bold theories endeavored to rediscover lost elements of ancient human cultures. Through its examination of Gimbutas's story, the film entices the viewer to consider not only the tenacity and integrity she displayed in her life, but also the implications of the ideas that her work was guided by.
Gimbutas focused much of her effort on discerning the meaning of ancient art and symbols and in doing so helped to reveal the goddess-worshiping facets of the societies of "old Europe" and its connection to a mystical reverence of nature. Her visionary approach to archeology drew from a unique background in linguistics, mythology, and folklore.
Such an interesting character makes for the perfect impetus for an engaging and thought-provoking documentary. But rather than let the aptitude of the premise do all of the work, the filmmakers behind SIGNS deftly integrate archival footage and animation into the structure of the films narrative. Even if you lack an intense interest in archeology per se, SIGNS OUT OF TIME delves deeply into the life of a woman truly worthy of having her story through film."
New reading of history.
Preston C. Enright | Denver, CO United States | 11/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just as minorities have been portrayed as violent for various political and economic agendas (i.e. - blacks and Native Americans portrayed as 'savages' to rationalize the injustices perpetrated by 'civilized' Anglos), there has been a similar defamation campaign against the human species as a whole. Elites quite consciously try to convince people of their barbarism to justify the military establishments and prison complexes they build and profit from Why We Fight America's Prisons: The Movement Toward Profit and Privatization. For example, not a day goes by over the right-wing airwaves when they aren't trying to tell their audience about how dangerous and threatening and irrational people are; of course, they then present themselves as the rational protectors of the people as they divide the general public and concentrate wealth and power in their own hands Outright Barbarous: How the Violent Language of the Right Poisons American Democracy.
Gimbutas's reading of history undercuts the efforts of authoritarian ideologues to convince us that life inevitably is 'nasty and brutish', as Hobbes asserted. Rather, human nature and the societies we develop are capable of much more than the madness we see in so many Hollywood films and D.C. policies. Predictably, her unorthodox archaeolgy has been met with much criticism, but there is a growing number of scholars who agree that humans are much more peaceful than corporate warlords want us to believe. World-renown anthropologist Douglas Fry's work has produced similar revelations The Human Potential for Peace: An Anthropological Challenge to Assumptions about War and Violence. Beyond academic studies, simply looking at our lives, the people we know, the countless strangers who have shown kindness, the joys of travelling and other experiences confirm that people are generally pretty good The Brighter Side Of Human Nature: Altruism And Empathy In Everyday Life. That we are so traumatized when violence does occur speaks to how contrary to our nature wounding or killing others really is War and the Soul: Healing Our Nation's Veterans from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The fight we need to wage is not with weapons, but with information. It's a fight to resist efforts to pervert our lives and our perception of our species Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill : A Call to Action Against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence.
Beautifully filmed and deeply informative, 'Signs Out of Time' is a great tool to subvert the view of human nature that has been imposed on us by those for whom war in a business The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives, or an identity War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning.
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