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500 Nations
500 Nations
Actors: Alma Martinez, Kevin Costner, Gregory Harrison, Eric Schweig, Gordon Tootoosis
Genres: Television, Documentary
NR     2004     6hr 12min

500 Nations is an eight-part documentary that explores the history of the indigenous peoples of North and Central America, from pre-Colombian times through the period of European contact and colonization, to the end of the...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Alma Martinez, Kevin Costner, Gregory Harrison, Eric Schweig, Gordon Tootoosis
Creators: Kevin Costner, Bernd Eichinger, Heather Rae, Jack Leustig, Jim Wilson, John Pohl, W.T. Morgan
Genres: Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Documentary
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/21/2004
Original Release Date: 04/20/1995
Theatrical Release Date: 04/20/1995
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 6hr 12min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 5
SwapaDVD Credits: 5
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Dawn P. (lightofdawn) from SPARTA, TN
Reviewed on 12/7/2007...
These programs really show the true nature of the Native Americans and the wars that were fought with the white man. Kevin Kostner does an excellent job of introducing, and you can tell that he really means what he says. This is truly a dark era in the history of the white man and Native with fault lying mainly with the Europeans.

Movie Reviews

An epic documentary
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 11/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Since childhood, I've always felt that the most aesthetically beautiful people that have ever walked the earth are the original inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere, so this series, so wonderfully photographed and researched, is one I appreciate. It's a superb overview of a history not to be missed.

Tape # 1: "The Ancestors." Explores the creation stories of several tribes and continues with the early inhabitants, from the Anasazi of the Southwest to the glory of the Mayan cities.

Tape # 2: "Mexico." Starts in 650 A.D. and continues with "The Rise of the Aztecs," "The Invasion," "The Fall." This is the most fascinating and my favorite of the series. The complex history is captivating, and heartbreaking as the bloodthirsty horror of Cortez is told, and the commentary by Nahuatl anthropologist Eustaquio Celestiano is enlightening.

Tape # 3: "The Clash of Cultures." Columbus' landing on Hispaniola and the conflict that ensues, the "Gulf Coast of Florida" and de Soto's marauding army.

Tape # 4: "Invasion of the Coast." The Inuit vs. the English, the East coast peoples vs. the English.

Tape # 5: "Cauldron of War." Trading with the white man and how commercial hunting changed the face of the Indian Nations. The Iriquois: The leader known as "The Great Peacemaker" and his "Great Laws" which created the first democracy in America.

Tape # 6: "Removal." War and exile in the East. The story of Tecumseh and his heroic challenge. The 1830 "Indian Removal Act" and the journey West.

Tape # 7: "Roads Across the Plains." California. The building of the missions and the gold rush. What happened in these events will be new information to a lot of people. Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse: "Standing Against the Tide."

Tape # 8: The wise and great Chief Joseph. The Apaches. The Reservations. The "Boarding Schools" where children were stripped of their identities. It ends with present day Native Americans speaking about perspectives today. As Mario Gonzalez, an Ogala Sioux says, "Destiny is not a matter of fate, it's a matter of choice."

Jack Leustig's incredible work is hosted by Kevin Costner and narrated by Gregory Harrison. The excerpts of written documents are superbly spoken by such actors as Wes Studi, Edward James Olmos, and Patrick Stewart. The score by Peter Buffet is also excellent. These tapes are also available singly, and are 49 minutes long apiece."
It's been some time since I gave out 5 Stars!
R. Kirkham | Rushville, Illinois USA | 09/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This series is certainly worth it! This miniseries is well researched, has excellent graphics, and Kevin Costner does a great job as host. I fell in love with it the first few moments I watched.

No matter what portion of the country you live in, you will learn new history about your region. The series is designed so you can watch it through from beginning to end, or skip directly to the portions that most interest you.

This is one series I think EVERY American should own. It will help you understand who you are, even if you don't have a trace of Native American blood.

I chose the portion that deals with our locality to show to the college class I teach. Although the portion was only 8 minutes long, it sparked a discussion that sent our class into overtime.

Why should you buy it as opposed to renting it? Simple, when you rent a movie, you remember the movie and often don't view it a second time. This is more like a multimedia encyclopedia on Native Americans. You will want to look up portions of it from time to time and even show certain portions to friends.

A well done history of the many Native Nations of N. America
R. Kirkham | 04/30/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This series of videos explores Native history from before the arrival of the Europeans to modern times. It is an accurate accounting of the clash of cultures and contains many great photographs, interviews and narratives. A great feature are the virtual tours of cities such as Pueblo Bonito, Cahokia, Teotihuacan and Chichen Itza. The information on the videos is well documented and the sources of information are presented in a bibliography at the end of each video. The production is excellent and the music compliments the information presented. I recommend this series highly. It is a great addition to any home video library. END"