Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now

Customer Review

on 15 October 2012
This documentary sets out like a series of lectures, given by Bronowski himself, who tours various locations to give more credence to the contents. Needless to say, the facts presented were established truths at the time and although some have naturally been eroded by time and changing paradigms, most of the content still stands today. The age of the documentary, then, does not take away from it the bulk of the message. It does, however, affect the presentation.

In recent years, documentaries have had to develop their presentation in order to reach the masses. TV series and films are being produced in such great amounts that they end up fighting for time on the screen - creating a driving force for producing documentaries that attract the attention of the general populace in new and inventive ways. Content is no longer enough. A popularistic presentation is also necessary. Notably, this is achieved through music, imagery and other exciting effects. "The Ascent of Man" has little of this.

In my opinion, the best documentary is the one that finds a suitable balance between the popularistic and being a pure university lecture. The former is too simplistic and lacking in nuance, the latter is dry and uninteresting. A decent balance between the two offers facts and context in an enlightening fashion; is interesting and engaging without compromising the message.

"The Ascent of Man" resembles a poorly structured university lecture - a lecture full of facts you may as well have read in the book designed for the course. Now, that may be well and good in a world where educating the masses through the television is considered a novel idea, but in today's world, it is no longer new. In today's world, this documentary contains too many dry facts. Thus leaving it too dry to be of use to the young - who lack the facts but have shorter attention spans than more adult students - and too devoid of context to be of use to those who have the facts but require more. On the scale from the purely popularistic to the university lecture, "The Ascent of Man" finds itself closer to the latter than the former. It was made for a world when documentaries were rarer than they are today. Its contents have more or less stood the test of time but, sadly, the presentation has not. Don't get me wrong: it was an outstandig piece of work. It was.

Mostly, this will serve you as an archive, or as a way of illustrating the evolution - not in mankind, but in the presentation of documentaries.
33 Comments| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse| Permalink
What's this?

What are product links?

In the text of your review, you can link directly to any product offered on Amazon.com. To insert a product link, follow these steps:
1. Find the product you want to reference on Amazon.com
2. Copy the web address of the product
3. Click Insert product link
4. Paste the web address in the box
5. Click Select
6. Selecting the item displayed will insert text that looks like this: [[ASIN:014312854XHamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)]]
7. When your review is displayed on Amazon.com, this text will be transformed into a hyperlink, like this:Hamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)

You are limited to 10 product links in your review, and your link text may not be longer than 256 characters.

Please write at least one word
You must purchase at least one item from Amazon to post a comment
A problem occurred while submitting your comment. Please try again later.

There was a problem loading the comments at the moment. Please try again later.

Product Details

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
£12.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime