Search - Taboo - The Complete First Season (National Geographic) on DVD

Taboo - The Complete First Season (National Geographic)
Taboo - The Complete First Season
National Geographic
Actors: Novella Nelson, Kenji, Vincent Psykic, Steven McAllum, Andres Williams
Director: Morris Abraham
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
NR     2004     6hr 16min

Complex and controversial, this mesmerizing hit series offers an insider's view of closed worlds traditionally off-limits to outsiders. Witness stunning stories about rituals and traditions so shocking that you can't help ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Novella Nelson, Kenji, Vincent Psykic, Steven McAllum, Andres Williams
Director: Morris Abraham
Creators: Alan Tomlinson, Bill Day, Caito Lanhoso Martins, Clare Dolan, Clare Nolan, David O'Neill, Eleanor Grant, Eric Strauss
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
Studio: National Geographic Video
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 06/08/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 6hr 16min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Very enjoyable
R. Swan | California | 04/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I came across this show during my first semester of college, where one of my courses was Anthropology of Religion, where we studied religious traditions in various cultural contexts. I was very happy to see some of the topics we had covered in class featured in Taboo, as the footage brought a whole new level of understanding to the information presented in class. When I found the first season available, I snatched it up immediately.

What I like about the series so much is that it gives people a chance to understand the differences between cultures and people, but also the similarities; that we aren't that different from each other. I would warn that in order to get the most out of this show, it must be watched with an open mind. The first time I watched all the episodes, there were some things that shocked me. But I don't believe the acts shown on this collection are "sick" or "depraved". They are integral facets of various cultures around the world. And while many of the episodes focus on cultural practices in parts of the world other than the United States, there are several that take place in several states in the US.

The topic of the 13 episodes included are: Tattoo, Witchcraft, Healers, Drugs, Food, Bloodsports, Voodoo, Marriage, Death, Sexuality, Tests of Faith, Rites of Passage, and Evil Spirits."
A Series that sorely tests your belief systems!
T. P. Cunningham | San Francisco, CA | 01/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I was very anxious to receive this collection. I had never seen the series nor have I known anyone that has. Yes, I read the customer reviews. I can't say I wasn't warned. Living in one of the most tolerant and culturally diverse cities in the United States, I had this ill conceived notion that I'd "seen it all".
I couldn't imagine being 'shocked' or disturbed by anything "cultural", or even "taboo". This series lives up to its title and then some.

Unfortunately, I have just removed the very first disc, with a strong temptation to toss it in the trash can. Personally, I am not suited to view this kind of material.

I do applaud National Geographic for allowing those that are interested in viewing such bizarre 'around the world' cultural rituals, and giving those interested a very frank ringside seat in which to do so.

Clearly, what little I saw of this series has brought me to the self realization that I am in no way as open minded as I thought I was. The world is much bigger than I'd realized, and much stranger than I'd imagined. Having traveled to a few far corners of the world, I have never encountered anything remotely similar to what you will see here.

The realities shown in TABOO are harsh, to say the very least. It is very unlike me to utter the words, what I don't know won't hurt me, but I cannot bring myself to even consider viewing another minute of this series.

It is definitely a series for those whose curiosity and quench for knowledge cannot be wavered.

This series is proof that life can be stranger than fiction. It is indeed.

There is nothing presented here that I would consider to be personally intellectually or spiritually redeeming. I remember shaking my head and scoffing at the reviews here that found this material so objectionable and offensive.

I'm not out to trash this series, but to offer my own personal experience based on just one disc. I admit that I found the first two episodes quite interesting ("DRUGS" as well as "HEALERS"). I held my finger on the fast forward button with my head turned mostly away for the following episodes ("FOOD" and "BLOOD SPORTS"). I ultimately stopped the disc entirely during Blood Sports.

I may be missing some very interesting episodes that the rest of the series has to offer, but frankly, I've seen enough to quill the urge for more.

Overall, this series must have a appreciative audience. It was filmed beautifully, narrated with unflinching matter of factness, and embodies the essence of National Geographic's standards of high quality production values.

As you see from many reviews, there are those that love this series, and I thought that I would be in that camp. I am not.
Would I recommend this series to anyone that I know personally? Definitely not.

Do I judge others negatively for enjoying this series? Definitely not. To each his own.

Unfortunately, I ordered the second season of the series as well. Unopened, I will be returning it for another viewer to purchase and enjoy (or not).

This is a series for those that are able to 'remove' themselves emotionally from the viewing experience, along with those who find value in the educational aspect of the series.

I give it four stars for a few reasons. One star for having the fortitude to even film the series at all. One star for the high quality resolution of the picture and sound. And two stars for acquiring a willing and appreciative audience.

Beware, be warned. Be prepared. This is definitely NOT for the faint of heart. Please do not let this review steer you clear from purchasing or viewing this. It might be right up your alley, so to speak.

This is just one voice here, with one opinion. I just felt I needed to share my thoughts."
One of my favorite programs
Anyechka | Rensselaer, NY United States | 06/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This great series from National Geographic examines numerous practices that many people in the West would consider taboo, just because they're so radically different from our way of life. It forces the viewer to confront one's own taboos, and hopefully one will come away with a more open mind and more educated about and understanding of different cultures and customs. Disc one contains the episodes "Drugs," "Healers," "Food," and "Bloodsports"; disc two contains "Evil Spirits," "Voodoo," "Marriage," and "Witchcraft"; disc three contains "Sexuality," "Death," and "Rites of Passage"; and disc four contains "Tests of Faith" and "Tattoo." The series takes the viewer to such far-ranging locales as Malaysian Borneo, Benin, Togo, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mexico, Japan, India, Greece, Norway, Holland, Venezuela, Haiti, the Philippines, Thailand, and various places in the United States. Not for the easily-offended, moral absolutists who see the world only in black and white and feel that only their way is correct, or the squeamish, it presents these stories (three per episode) in the context of culture, religion, history, and geography and shows that what we consider taboo is not only perfectly normal but unthinkable to not do for a person in a place like Thailand, South Africa, or Mexico. As an animal-lover, some of these segments were rather hard to watch, but I had to take into consideration that this is normal behavior in other cultures, and that many things which Westerners do, such as sending the elderly into homes, putting small children into daycare, pampering and shielding children incessantly, and not showing a lot of reverence for elders and ancestral spirits, would be considered taboo and unacceptable to them.

Among the thought-provoking questions it raises are:

Would you let your underage child be married?

Would you drink your own urine?

Would you let your small child have his or her face ritually scarred?

Would you club to death and then eat your own beloved pet dog?

Would you have yourself crucified or walk across coals in the name of faith?

Would you be willing to revise your Western-centric notions of what the major world religions are to include Voodoo, animism, and witchcraft?

Would you engage in a bloody brawl with your neighbors to ensure a good harvest?

Would you rip apart a live guinea pig and burn a llama fetus as part of a healing ceremony?

Would you drink the blood of a cobra and eat its meat?

The fourth disc includes the bonus features of an exotic menu, a picture gallery, trailers for recommended programs, and commercials for National Geographic itself. All in all, it's a must-see series for those interested in world cultures and shattering the idea that there's only one moral and acceptable way to behave, the Western way, with anything else disturbing, wrong, and sinful. A series like this can only be for the good, what with building bridges of understanding, tolerance, and acceptance across cultural divides."
For those interested in the bizzare
Psyche | Lake Worth, Florida USA | 07/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One of the best things about having access to satellite tv is that you are given the chance to see stuff that the local channels can't show.

The show Taboo on the National Geographic channel is one of them.

The Taboo series is a facinating one: in every episode, they go into a specific taboo topic, and the people who break them. For example, one episode, about extreme entertainers, we follow around a Canadian freak show troupe, a young woman who decided to become a geisha, and a man who calls himself "The Torture King"

This is not a series for the easily offended, those with small children, or a heart condition. For instance, a episode on body cutters includes following around people who are into suspention (hanging in the air, held by fishhooks, pierced in the back)

However, if you are not one of the above people, or are facinated with the bizzare like I am, then get this DVD."