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Ganges (BBC Series) [DVD]
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The Ganges River (Gang Ma or Great Mother) is the holiest river in the world. Rising from the pure glacial meltwaters of the Himalayas, it flows down onto India's Northern Plain, then heads eastwards into the swamplands of Bangladesh, finally discharging a 500-km (310-mile) tongue of red silt into the Bay of Bengal. As well as filling wells and irrigating crops to sustain the cities and villages along its banks, it is the spiritual life-blood for India's primary religion, Hinduism. Bathing in the Ganges remains the lifelong ambition of many of India's believing masses, who consider the river to be a living goddess. People gather daily at her banks to murmur prayers, baptise children, wash vibrant coloured saris, drink her waters or simply die believing such acts help absolve sins and lead the way to Nirvana.
Ganges reveals the source of the river high in the Himalayas, the youngest mountain range in the world, and follows its route as it sharply incises the mountains on its journey south-east. Along the way we discover the Hindu story of the river's creation, and how it supports the myriad forms of life that thrive on its banks. With stunning, evocative images by photographer Jon Nicholson, Ganges is a true visual feast, as teeming with life and colour as the mighty river itself.
This sumptuous series tells the story of the most extraordinary river in the world - the Ganges. Human life and nature bustle along her river banks, in a kaleidoscope of colour and energy in this dramatic BBC documentary. From man-hunting tigers to giant lizards, in Ganges the wildlife encountered is as diverse as the people. Travelling from the peaks of the Himalayas through frenetic cities to the teeming delta where the river meets the sea, this is a vibrant and colourful look at how the Ganges shaped the wildlife, culture and beliefs of India..
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Top Customer Reviews
First a word about HD. There are parts of this presentation that are NOT in HD. While this is disappointing many of the truly great parts of the presentation are and there are plenty of "wow" moments. Maybe I have become spoiled by other 100 percent HD BBC productions.
Also to be noted is that this is not always a happy story. The conflict of humans and animals is not always easy viewing. When the needs of humans meet the needs of animals there tends to lead to only one winner. Also sad to see so many animals merely picking up the refuse of humans - rather than living their more natural life.
The test of a good disc is "could you watch it over twice" - which it passes with flying colours. The disc is easy to get around and the deleted scenes/extras are watchable at least once. Lots of money has been spent and it is all up on the screen - good price point from Amazon, the original RRP being ludicrous.
I would recommend for educational and cultural reasons, but avoid if you are looking for an HD natural history film to add to your blu-ray collection.
The music is unobtrusive but, if you tune into it, also brilliant. Great, relaxing female voiceover, too.
The first part covers the 4 sacred sources of the Ganges river, so there's plenty of slo-mo waterfalls, fast-mo clouds and sunsets, icy blizzards, and a brilliant sequence of candles being floated down the river at night during a festival. And even a 'night vision' mono sequence when leopards prowl among the barred and shuttered sleeping village. That might not quite be hi-def, but it's much better than most night vision footage.
All other footage is brilliant - I was too engrossed in the images to analyse whether every single one was hi-def or not (I have a new full HD Tosh TV and Blu-Ray player now), but I can't say I noticed anything untoward, or any 'artefacts', whatever they are. I thought they were things discovered by archaeologists.
There is more emphasis on people compared to the 'usual' BBC nature docs (as you'd expect), but not that much in the first part. This is a good thing, rather than bad, I reckon.
I need to give my eyes and brain a rest, now, from the vision onslaught, but will update if the next 3 parts are not as good.
UPDATE OCT 2010. Just watched the whole lot in 1 big session.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My favourite Bluray documentary. The colours and south are amazing. A worthwhile purchase as if far better than watching on DVD.Published 5 months ago by Mr. Matthew Jones
Disc and box both fine and as described.fantastic series,highly recommended.Published 7 months ago by John Thorpe
As usual, the BBC provides quality. Four stars because it shows unnecessary close-ups of Italian paintings which could -and does- offend.Published 7 months ago by Mr. Joseph Jury
Dvd came as 3 very good bought for my husband as we are off to India later on this year he was very impressed with them and the quliaty very good.Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
Well worth watching. It is educational and beautifully presented.Published 12 months ago by D. Cashman