8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Dumbed-down, garbled, repetitive,
This review is from: Guns Germs & Steel [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Having enjoyed Jared Diamond's book "Guns, Germs and Steel", I purchased this documentary in the hope that it would provide an interesting adjunct to the book. It doesn't.
Most of the budget for the three-part documentary has been spent on ferrying Jared Diamond to New Guinea and Africa for a handful of pieces to camera, and the rest on a lavish reconstruction of Francisco Pizarro's defeat of the Inca army at the battle of Cajamarca. Snippets from these segments are repeated many times during each episode, giving the documentary an unforgivably repetitive feel.
The documentary covers the invention of agriculture and the domestication of animals engagingly, but the last episode veers off into a segment in poor taste in which Jared Diamond is confronted by dying children in an AIDS ward in Africa while the narrator heavy-handedly hammers home the impact of disease on the development of society.
The domination of less-technological societies by industrialised societies is barely covered - a few shots of a steam train passing through the African landscape are used as illustration.
All in all, a badly garbled, lopsided introduction of Jared Diamond's classic. Do yourself a favour and buy the book in hardback instead. At least it'll last longer when you lend it to your friends.