Customer Reviews

40
4.3 out of 5 stars
Empire [DVD]
Format: DVDChange
Price:£7.90+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 29 April 2012
Paxman has taken an interesting approach in order to discover the British Empire from a variety of perspectives and thus trying to highlight the ideals, power relations and the forms of organisation at work to both cretae and control such a vast territory. Travelling to a number of places himself, he interviews the descendants of those that still experienced British rule themselves, while interspercing today's points of view with tales about certain historical events that were decisive in the rise and fall of British rule. A DVD that is both informative and entertaining!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2012
Jeremy Paxman's BBC documentary on the British Empire takes the viewer on a journey that is epic, inspiring, shocking, at times shaming - but at other times awe-inspiring. Paxman skilfully illuminates many interesting events that are little known about by most people, such as the Opium Wars, the rubber trade - mixing a grand historical narrative with personal interactions (in his own unique style) with everyday folk who are relevant to the overall part of the story being related. One is left with the insight, that for better or for worse, the British Empire, which was so vast, & so very British, has shaped the world irreversibly in its image. The series leaves one excited & thrilled for the next instalment & episode of Empire!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on 4 April 2012
I haven't watched the DVDs but I've watched the whole series on BBC. This is a wonderful series. While curry has become part of British national food, not everyone knows much about the culture and history of its ex-colonies. Paxman did a great job in introducing us on both the good and bad deeds of the empire. The British Empire did bring harm, violence and slavery in a lot of places, but it also brought modernization to its colonies too. I'm a student from Hong Kong, and we Hong Kong people are grateful to the British rule which brought us law system, education and infrastructure. It is good to see the story from British's perspective and it is actually the first time I get to know about the history of the other ex-colonies of the British Empire.

What I find not enough is how the local people react to the post-colonial era. e.g. what's the legacy of British rule in Africa or South Asia? The division of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan is much of a result of the last years of British rule. How did it affects the current relationship of these countries? Are there still a lot of racial problems left behind in South Africa? British's short occupation of Tibet is not discussed in the series. Although Tibetans died fighting with British, the British period was actually a time that Tibetan enjoyed a bit more freedom, in compare to the current China's rule. What is also lacking is how Hong Kong people think about the "handover" to China. HK citizens didn't have a say in the whole handover process. While the communist China regard it as the "return" of Hong Kong, we regard it more as the "fall" of Hong Kong, and it is now obvious that the freedom of press is oppressed. We are not freed from colonization, but being re-colonized by a much more ruthless regime. And I wished he had talk a bit more about the confusing nationality of British passports. Different ex-colonies are given different treatments. While some ex-colonies' citizens have the right of abode in UK, some of them don't. Some countries joined the Commonwealth, and Commonwealth remains an important global alliance. And the Empire has made English the global language. It might worth more investigation on how English is used in different countries. e.g. While it became the official language of Singapore, Singaporean developed a particular dialect of Singlish that they used in their daily life. While English is merely a tool language in Hong Kong, and people speak Cantonese in daily life. However, given the length of the series, I think it is a very good introduction to the Empire.
33 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 18 April 2012
This is an interesting and challenging TV series that faces up to the legacy and responsibility of Empire. Not a shock attack on PC views and not a dismissal of history. You may not agree with everything Paxman says. But he does not sit on the fence and you have food for thought.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 3 November 2013
I was looking forward to watching Empire and understanding far more about our imperial roots. The series did allow me to understand more in an engaging way however the structure of the episodes meant it lacked continuity and jumped about alot. I feel the series would of been easier to follow if it had followed a timeline of the empires growth and fall rather than topic based headings that loosely held the episodes together. However one to watch for those looking to understand more about our imperial past
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This 2 DVD set provides an insight into Britain's past and goes some way to explaining a lot about its' heritage and contemporary culture. The series covers the geographical/political issues as well as explaining the origin of some of the stereotypical perceptions of the British such as their "sense of fair play" etc. Empire also portrays the exploitation, discrimination, and, in some aspects, the political ineptitude of the British Empire.

No one is condoning many of the things that were done in establishing and running the Empire, however, as some of the indigenous people interviewed for the series make clear, there were, arguably, some positive aspects to what the British tried to achieve. The British motivation and aspirations around the Empire need to be seen in the context of what was a very different world to the one we live in now. I have docked a star on the basis that I think Jeremy Paxman could have been more balanced in this aspect of his coverage.

In summary, this DVD set does serve to show much about where contemporary Britain has evolved from. It also chronicles the creation of what are now some of the globe's most powerful economies. The production quality is excellent, and, it is an atmospheric, thought provoking and insightful set of DVDs. (The run time is just under 5 hours in total). Recommended.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A greast series, so much I wanted to get a copy, never has our Empire been explained so well and the effects it still has on our everyday lives. Brilliant Jeremy
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2013
Very absorbing and quite addictive. Some of my international friends now know why the British act the way we do in certain circumstances. Paxman is a thorough presenter and informative.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 June 2012
Prompt delivery and reasonably priced. I bought this after watching most of the series on TV. Thoroughly enjoyed Jeremy Paxman who had gone into a lot of detail. I did however, not feel so proud of being British after watching!!!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 15 July 2015
The Empire DVD arrived but was not compatible with my U.S. system. It was a waste of my time and annoying to have to return the DVD to the UK at a cost of $16.50 cents not counting my labor in repackaging and the initial ordering plus return correspondence.

Amazon UK needs to advise U.S. customers that UK videos are not compatible with our video equipment.
L.A. Worthington
Washington State
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed

Andrew Marr's Box of Britain [DVD]
Andrew Marr's Box of Britain [DVD] by Andrew Marr (DVD - 2010)
£16.36

The Victorians [DVD]
The Victorians [DVD] by Jeremy Paxman (DVD - 2009)
£9.42
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.