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The Hittites: A Civilization That Changed the World [DVD] [2004] [US Import] [Region 1] [NTSC]

Cuneyt Turel , Tolga Örnek    DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.

Product details

  • Actors: Cuneyt Turel
  • Directors: Tolga Örnek
  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: NR (Not Rated) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Cinema Epoch
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Mar 2008
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001139ZI8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 179,640 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rise and Fall of the Hittites 25 July 2008
The Hittites is an epic 2004 Turkish documentary by Ekip Films. Narrated by Jeremy Irons, and making use of full scale dramatic re-enactments and interviews from experts, it is the single greatest documentary about these much ignored people.

In many ways it is similar to the BBC's 'Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire' and Channel 4's 'The Ancient Egyptians' in that it makes use of rather big budget reconstructions of Hittite life. Shot on location in Turkey, Syria and Egypt, the Hittites has a cast of hundreds, as well as working team of reconstructors who designed full scale replicas of chariots, palace rooms, clothing, weapons, pots and another 20,000 historically accurate props. These, combined with some computer generated and model FX, as well as having actors speak in the Hittite language (with subtitles and voiceovers) help bring the world of these ancient people back to life. A dramatic score by the Prague Symphony Orchestra helps add another layer of epic feel to the series.

Between these scenes of reconstructed Hittite life a few experts on the subject discuss different aspects of Hittite civilisation and culture. These cover such things as the Hittite pantheon of gods, the city of Hattusha, the Hittite language, the laws, and the daily lives of the people and the mighty Kings who ruled over them. Trevor Bryce, Harry Hoffner, Ali Dincol, and a dozen other scholars are selected for these fascinating interviews.

The entire documentary runs for over 120 minutes (2 hours) and it covers several subjects on Hittite culture, as well as reconstructions of the lives of famous kings such as Suppiluliuma, Telipinu, Mursili II and Muwattallis.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good buy 4 Jun 2011
By Helena
I am probably what you would call a reasonably educated member of the general public, reasonably versed in basics of world history (I am Chinese by origin and have received a normal western-oriented education) and reasonably curious about great civilisations - both the ones that have vanished and others that are still with us today. That the Hittites were one of the many great civilisations that once occupied the central Anatolian plains, and that in their long history they once had some quarrel with Rameses II which somehow ended up in a draw on the battlefield in a place named Kadesh ... well - that sums up everything I knew about them! Approaching this film then, with all the right qualifications (or lack thereof), I had no idea what to expect so ended up not expecting anything in particular. I was also fully prepared to stop half-way and cut my losses if this turned out to be a waste of time.

I am very happy to report that it was far from a waste of time. A joint Turkish-Western production (top credit went to the Istanbul Stock Exchange, somewhat puzzlingly), it was very well put together with the usual fare of this genre: stunning location photography, comments by the experts, close-up shots of artifacts, dramatic recreations, a fittingly "epic-type" orchestral musical score ... the whole lot. I was glad to see the producers gave enough academic information to put the serious enquirer onto the right track, whilst also managing to give the narrative just enough dramatic flow to keep the casual viewer interested.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding documentary 20 Dec 2012
"The Hittites" is an outstanding documentary about an ancient civilization, which was based in Anatolia (i.e. the centre of present-day Turkey) from ca. 1800 to ca. 1200 BC. It is written, produced and directed by the Turkish filmmaker Tolga Örnek, who is also behind the excellent Mount Nemrud. The director of photography is Ferhen Akgün, who had the same role on "Mount Nemrud." Here is some additional information:

** Narrated in English by Jeremy Irons
** Music composed and orchestrated by Tamer Çiray
** Music performed by the Prague Symphony Orchestra
** Produced by Ekip Film 2003 and released by Cinema Epoch 2004
** Total running time: 129 minutes (including credits at the end)

"The Hittites" is divided into six chapters:

(1) (20 m) Rise
(2) (20 m) Culture
(3) (31 m) Hatusa
(4) (17 m) Plague
(5) (30 m) Kadesh
(6) (05 m) Fall

As you can see from this list, the film follows a chronological line from the rise of the empire around 1800 BC to the fall around 1200 BC. On the way several general topics are covered as well, for instance the Hittite language, culture, and religion. Chapter 3 deals with houses, temples, and the royal palace (known as the citadel). This chapter also covers water management, administration, archives, and the writing system: cuneiform script.

When the Hittite empire collapsed around 1200 BC, it was soon forgotten and remained unknown for centuries. The capital Hatusa was re-discovered in 1906 during excavations led by the German archaeologist Hugo Winkler (1863-1913). The modern Turkish name of this place is Boğasköy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Please interpret these impossible Hittite names 26 Aug 2008
By F. N. Mastrogiovanni - Published on
Verified Purchase
The Hittites were a Bronze Age Empire from what is modern day Turkey. Much of what archeologists know about the Hittites comes from clay tablets found in their capital. The two-hour DVD tells the story of the Hittites in chronological order and was narrated by Jeremy Irons. The redramatizations were helpful in showing what clothes, armor, equipment and cities looked like. They also added a historical flavor to this story of this once lost ancient civilization. Jeremy Irons does a masterful job telling about the rise and fall of the Hittites and their 500-year reign over Anatolia. I especially liked where Jeremy Irons correctly pronounces the Hittite kings names like Muwatalish, Mursilis and Suppiluliumas. I thought the battle of Qadesh could have been better explained with more detail and a better explanation about the neighbors of the Hittites. But that would've meant a three or four hour DVD...too bad! Over all I gave this documentary four stars because this is the perfect historical story for beginners like me, who aren't classically educated and haven't spent half our lives digging up ancient cities. A must buy for history buffs like me.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice introduction to an ignored culture 3 May 2009
By Bennett P. Brocka - Published on
The documentary is a melange of historian interviews, narrative voice-over and re-enactment. The re-enactment was a bit jarring because of the long hair on the men (I guess I expected closely cropped hair, I'm not sure why), and the sparse set dressing, but I'm just jaded from watching HBO's Rome too many times. I can't comment on the accuracy because I'm ignorant about the Hittites (that's why I watched the DVD), but I find the bronze age fascinating in general, and it seems in keeping with what I have read from The Cambridge Ancient History Volume 2, Part 2: The Middle East and the Aegean Region, c.1380-1000 BC,

I do admit I might only give it three stars without the melliflous narration of Jeremy Irons, gently pronouncing these jawcracker names. There seems to be some disagreement on how to pronounce the names, and the written form (from the Cambridge Ancient History) lists them as having -ash at the end. Hattushilli is Khattushilash, for example, so it make it confusing.

I quite enjoyed this DVD, and have watched it several times. It has surprising production values compare to many shows on the History Channel, and seems to have been promoted by the Turkish government - if so, good for them. Turkey is a deep well of history.

Bottom line, if you're a veteran watcher of History Channel type documentaries, you'll enjoy this.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Documentary 23 Feb 2012
By Victor L. Pillow - Published on
Verified Purchase
I watch a lot of documentaries on TV. Saw this on the Smithsonian Channel and decided to buy a copy so I could watch it without the commercials. I think it is a great video. I wish there were more like it. Jeremy Irons is a great narrator. The cinematography is reminiscent of the 1970's and looks astonishing. The dramatizations are fantastic.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Much-Needed History Lesson 28 Jun 2013
By John A. Lindquist - Published on
Verified Purchase
This captivating documentary about an unfortunately-obscure civilization really tells the story well. The dramatizations are well-played, and I would have liked to hear more of that beautiful-sounding language being spoken. Finding through DNA testing that I have a strong West Asian component, I would be proud to consider Hittites as probable ancestors or cousins.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hittites 4 Dec 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Verified Purchase
Our OAT guide previewed this video with our tour group before visiting the Hittite Museum in Ankara, Turkey. It opened a new understanding of Hittite history and the important role it played in the Middle East for some nearly 2000 years. The museum holds a wonderful collection of artifacts...many of which were discovered within the last 100 years. The "dig" photos were truly interesting. After our return we purchased the video from Amazon so we could better share our experience with friends and family.
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