Get to know Greece
Christian Wheeler | St. Louis | 08/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Greece's rich history and dynamic cultures are explored in this video, another well-produced entry in Questar's "Discovering" series. The video covers the major cities and islands, revealing the history, geography, culture, and people of Greece. Accompanying the visuals is a nice soundtrack by popular Greek New Age musician Chris Spheeris. All of the major landmarks, the touchstones of much of Western culture, are given attention, with appropriate amounts of history and mythology interspersed for relevance. Especially noteworthy are:
--Famed sites such as the Acropolis, the Parthenon, Olympia, Delphi, Mycenae, the Sanctuary of Apollo, and the Convent of Laherna
--The beautiful harbors of Skiathos, and the island of Santorini
--The island of Crete, significant to many cultures over the centuries, and home to the ancient Minoans, early seafarers and one of the oldest cultures of the region
--The unusual architecture and windmills of Mykonos
--The island of Corfu, a convergence of Greek, British, French, and especially Italian cultures that retains both mainland European and Greek sensibilities
Since the main video feature tries to touch on as many aspects of Greek history and society as possible, the major sites only get a few minutes worth of attention. However, the DVD features three nice bonus features that reveal more detail and history about ancient Athens and Corinth, the Temples of Zeus and Poseidon, and the sprawling complex of Delphi.
One minor criticism I will offer is that Greece's many famous sites are given much attention at the expense of learning more about the Greek people. The famed Greek cuisine is given some attention, but much of Greek culture--such as dance, language, and music--are given brief mention, if mentioned at all. That's perhaps the video's biggest drawback, but it does cover most other aspects of Greecian culture and history pretty well. If you're planning a trip to Greece or just want to learn more about it, this is a good place to start. Follow this up with the excellent books "Fodor's Greece," along with "Fodor's Exploring the Greek Islands."
I hope this review was helpful.