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  • Roots : The Original Series 1 - 30th Anniversary 4-Disc Box Set [DVD] [2002]
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Roots : The Original Series 1 - 30th Anniversary 4-Disc Box Set [DVD] [2002]

[Dual Disc Format]*
154 customer reviews

Price: £11.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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*This Item Contains a Dual-Sided Disc
Please note that some or all of the discs in this product are in a dual-sided format. This means that the disc must be turned over halfway through to view the content in its entirety.
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Product details

  • Actors: LeVar Burton, O.J. Simpson, Maya Angelou, Ji-Tu Cumbuka, Moses Gunn
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Oct. 2007
  • Run Time: 538 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000V4IO5S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,348 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Based on Alex Haley's best-selling novel about his African ancestors, Roots follows several generations in the lives of a slave family. The saga begins with Kunta Kinte (played by LeVar Burton), a West African youth captured by slave traders and shipped to America in the 1700s. This young man is torn from his homeland and in torment and anguish brought to the slave markets of the new world. The film traces his life and those of his family, depicted up until the Civil War where Kunte Kinte's grandson gains emancipation. It captures generations of love, tears, pain, strife, sacrifice and happiness, reminding us of the resilience and resource of the human spirit even under crippling injustice.
Roots garnered widespread popularity in the 1970s and made its mark in TV ratings, with on average 130 million viewers--almost half the country at the time--watching all or part of the series. This DVD collection is a celebration of 30 years since its original release.

Also available: Roots: The Complete Collection, which contains this box set of the original series, plus Roots: The Next Generation and, for the first time on DVD, Roots: The Gift, which focuses on the lives of two slaves from the original series. Note: The discs are double sided and only have one episode per side expect for disc 3 which has two episodes on side A and documentary on side B and the 4th disc has the 2007 documentary.

From Amazon.co.uk

Based on Alex Haley's bestseller, the 1977 TV mini-series Roots told the harrowing story of one man's ancestors, commencing with African warrior Kunta Kinte, captured, transported to America, stripped of his dignity, his rights, and even his name. He tries but fails to escape before accepting he can never return to Africa. He marries and bears a daughter, Kizzy, who is callously sold, then raped by her new "master". However, her son, Chicken George, a resourceful dab hand with gamecocks, lives long enough to see his own children attain a liberty of sorts following the Civil War.

Roots is told in the same, accessible televisual language as The Waltons or Bonanza, yet it is never bland or evasive. It leaves no doubt as to the torment and abuse suffered by blacks, and although the series' conclusion is fictionally satisfying, for many of the black characters their only hope lies in generations yet unborn.

It is sturdy enough drama but its greatest, most revolutionary effects were social. It persuaded American audiences to regard their history from a black perspective, and to see how--against odds far more desperate than those the pilgrims faced--Africans laid claim to their status as free African-Americans. Roots was massively popular, triggering a craze for genealogy and paving the way for series like 1979's Holocaust, which similarly raised the public's awareness of the slaughter of the Jews under Hitler. Most importantly, Roots changed forever the way black people were depicted on American TV.

On the DVD: Roots is presented in 1:33:1 format and is visually extremely well-preserved. Extra features include a "Roots Family Tree", a copious, informative audio commentary featuring members of cast and crew, and a documentary, "Remembering Roots". Although this consists only of interviews, these convey the extraordinary emotional grip this project had on those who took part in it.--David Stubbs --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Jenny J.J.I. on 17 Oct. 2007
Format: DVD
The miniseries is the best program I have ever seen and now thankfully own thanks to my significant other. Even though the young Kunta Kinte is only in the first two episodes, LeVar Burton is what made the show for me. Levar Burton is a revelation and it surprises me that he isn't doing more movies. He reminded me of those silent film stars who show with their eyes. The rest of the actors performed their characters just as well, and it gave me an impression of them playing their characters with the whole of their hearts. In this story Kunta is a good, brave young man who loves his village, his family and Allah. He is only 17 and has just completed manhood training and dreams of having a family of his own; the young warrior is out gathering food for his family when he hears a twig snap and turns to see a white man rushing him. Haley gets inside Kunta's mind and you feel his horror. Kunta fights bravely, he fights like a wild animal, but is overpowered and taken captive and then brutally abducted and put on a slave ship. Haley's book was so much more graphic; it showed scenes the TV show couldn't. To really grasp Kunta's nightmare, you need to read the book. The story eventually follows 200 yrs. of the descendants of this family who's strong will and striving finally brings them to Justice and Freedom.

I think that different directors were assigned to different movies in the series... which could be the reason why movie began to grow weak after Kunta Kinte leaves the storyline. I thought the beginning was rather powerful... displaying the savagery of the white man's actions... entering the peaceful villages in Africa and pulling everybody out in shackles onto their ships' dark and musty cargo holds, and slowly, try to bring the main character into submission once he arrives in America.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By mandynolan TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 Aug. 2003
Format: DVD
Roots tells the tale of slavery, the development of the New World and changes in mankinds attitudes to each other. The story was powerful enough to be one of the reasons that I studied History at University.(I watched it as a seven year old,and some of the scenes have never quite left me)When I teach my pupils about slavery and its consequences it is a way in which they can become emotionally entangled in the subject. It has its weaknesses, it can be too simplistic, but not all of the white characters are evil and it does tell the truth about how people traded (and treated) each other just because of the colour of a persons skin.I would recommend this Dvd to anyone. The story is powerful,heartfelt and emotionally challenging.There is also joy in the story as you watch the plight and development of a family generation after generation.They remain strong and proud even when their lives are difficult and cruel. An epic...
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Rod H VINE VOICE on 6 July 2006
Format: DVD
I can remember this series when it originally aired amid much publicity for both the Book that inspired it and the production itself. It won many awards at the time and it is still easy to see why...

On seeing it again all these years later I was surprised that it still stands up as a moving, epic story and well produced mini-series. This is as it was originally aired - the 'Next Generation' series came a couple of years later and brought the story up-to-date. Those who remember that version will be remembering the repeated one that included both series.

This is an important production in that it was ground-breaking for the time as it addressed many social issues as well as a nation's guilt for it's past injustices. The acting is of a general high standard, although sometimes a little 'high-gloss' for the subject matter ( some of the 'slaves' look a little high-maintenance and well manicured!!), but this can be overlooked because the story itself is so gripping emotionally and the characters themselves so appealing. 'Star Trek' fans will spot a young Levar Burton (Geordi LaForge) as the slave Kunta Kinte stolen from home at the start, and the series has many fine guest stars from US TV of the time. This is a great purchase for anyone who remembers the series, and essential viewing for those who have never seen it. Great price too, as this will provide 2 or 3 nights viewing..... and it WOULD be nice to see the second series released on DVD! Highly Recommended...
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. A. Fadel on 3 Jun. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was 11 years old when this was screened on British TV. It was a very influential series for both young and old alike. After watching it again this time round, 29 years later, it still gave me the same chill that I had had as a child, and sadly enough still sends the same messages as it did all those years ago - which leads me to wonder that after all these years, exactly what has changed in our world? A very powerfull watch, albeit some low level acting, but a must for everyone with a consience.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. C. Coogan on 2 Jan. 2005
Format: DVD
why they did not release the full version of this mini series astounds me it only tells half the story , i was very young when this was originally shown but remember far more of the story after chicken george and co became free, where are the bits where alex haley goes to africa for the inspiration to write his story, i am very dissapointed as the second series seems to have been forgotten please if anyone knows where i can obtain a copy please contact me.
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