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Ancient Egyptians HD online

Ancient Egyptians  HD online
Language: English
Category: TV Series / Drama
Original Title: Ancient Egyptians
Budget: £7,000,000
Duration: 50min
Video type: TV Series
Each of the four separate episodes -rather independent chapters- presents some of the findings of Egyptology, largely in the form of realistically presented docudrama, a splendid spectacle by peplum-standards, yet unusually true and hence surprising for non-specialist viewers in various details. Remarkable is the revealed contrast between the image-building clichés presented by the official, mostly monumental sources, glorifying deified pharaohs' glorious reign and triumphs and 'celestial' deities, and the more mundane reality, deduced largely from other archaeological findings, showing more human vices, misery, crime...
Series cast summary:
Bernard Hill Bernard Hill - Narrator 2 episodes, 2004
Alain Aswani Alain Aswani - Chef ethiopien / - 2 episodes, 2004
Ron Fehmiu Ron Fehmiu - Priest 2 episodes, 2003-2004
Jeremy Sisto Jeremy Sisto - Narrator 2 episodes, 2003-2004


Reviews: [8]

  • avatar

    Seevinev

    This is one of the most well researched and pieced together documentary series I've ever seen. By using actual transcripts of papyri found to piece together various lives of the people of Ancient Egypt. It ignores the common ideas of studying the culture as a whole and instead chooses to focus on the stories that exist in the records of individual people, their lives, stories, and sometimes sordid affairs.

    I had no idea that such details existed in surviving papyri. For example, the story of the Egyptian tomb robber that had been set up as the fall guy to protect a tomb robbing ring established by the Pharoahs Vizier and the man in charge of the Valley of the Kings. This story is found, whole and intact in the papyri. Names, dates, and the word for word re-enactment of the trial in the original language, all found intact on ancient papyri. These and the other stories show a glimpse into the world of real Egyptians that few know ever existed.

    A must watch for anyone interested in Egyptian Ancient history.
  • avatar

    greatest

    The "Ancient Egyptians" miniseries is definitely one of the most enjoyable documentaries of its type. Beyond that, it's one of the best Egypt-related programs I've ever seen, far superior to the Discovery Channel's recent "Rameses: The Wrath of God or Man?." I generally don't like dramatized documentaries since they're usually quite poorly shot and acted (the aforementioned "Rameses," for example) and the actual information somehow gets lost in the shuffle. The usual reason for this is that many documentaries -- especially ones about Ancient Egypt -- attempt to cover too much ground in too small a space of time. Fortunately, this documentary avoids that trap by confining each of its four installments to one specific person or situation. Each section is expertly shot and, as has been mentioned before, the accuracy and attention to detail are stunning. The source material from which these details are derived all offer a fascinating glimpse into the social climate of Ancient Egypt at four distinct times in its history. However, the series is not perfect and the title of my review offers a hint as to why. While excellently done, there is a very annoying Chomskyite political slant to this miniseries that colors the interpretation of these historical events.

    The first installment is "The Battle of Megiddo," based on eye-witness accounts written by Tjaneni, a scribe for the then-new Pharaoh Tuthmosis III. The events described in this section took place in or around 1457 BC, and the battle itself served as a proving ground for the young Pharaoh who faced a much larger army of Syrian rebels led by the Prince of Kadesh at the city of Megiddo. Tjaneni's accuracy is rarely disputed by contemporary sources and the show is true to it. However, the writers saw fit to introduce a story about a generic Egyptian peasant named Akhemose who was said to have been conscripted by the army to make war against Kadesh. In a miniseries that prides itself on being based on original historical documents from antiquity, there is a very conspicuous lack of documentation about Akhemose or his sad tale of being stolen away from his family, thrown into a war he doesn't care about, overcoming adversity in the army, and being killed in battle. While obviously these sorts of things happened in virtually every single war ever fought, Akhemose was not a historical figure, he was a literary device. In the following segment, "Tomb Robbers," (1128 BC) we learn that the rich steal because they are greedy and corrupt but that the poor (specifically the worker Amenpenafur, the closest thing to a "protagonist" in this section) steal because they are socially oppressed by the aforementioned rich and must do so to feed their families. The other two segments, "The Priests of Amun" (663-633 BC) and "The Cult of the Apis BUll" (120s BC), are less slanted in this manner and seem to draw more heavily on actual documentation rather than conjecture and social commentary (although much of the same commentary appears in these parts, its sparse use strikes me as more appropriate and gets the point across better).

    Despite the misgivings I have about the subtle agenda(s) of this miniseries, it's still a great piece of work whose contributions to the genre and to programming based on Ancient Egypt in general outweigh the annoyances I described. If this is released on DVD, I'd get it in a heartbeat and I recommend that anyone interested in this great, intriguing civilization do the same.
  • avatar

    Delagamand

    The most significant aspect of this drama/documentary series is that each episode, portraying life in ancient Egypt, is based on a surviving text from the period.

    Now, I daresay life is too short for each of us to access these texts, let alone decipher the language or separate the wheat from the chaff. So I reckon this series is the closest that most of us will get to experiencing ancient Egyptian life, and there is a real feeling of being a "witness" to events which is a tribute to the program makers.

    There has been an incredible degree of care and responsibility in bringing the text to the screen. The stories reveal how the values of this distant civilisation mix with the universals of the human condition. There is no sensationalism, and the intrinsic narrative drive of the stories and their meticulous realisation draw in the viewer.

    Where there is uncertainty in the text, this is stated - for once the viewer is given credit for some intelligence. The dialogue is subtitled, and my suspicion is that the actors are REALLY speaking Ancient Egyptian but this is nowhere made clear.

    I think it is difficult to create a credible drama with (some) actors in loin cloths, as one thinks "sword and sandal" epics! However, this has been achieved. The cinematography is impressive with a stylish beige and pink hue (the colours of linen and skin) unifying the visuals. The computer graphics are seamless - impressing without intruding.

    I find it incredible that a program of such quality has been made in the age of modern television. These programs will work all over the world and for decades to come - because their appeal is timeless.
  • avatar

    Bremar

    The series "Ancient Egyptians" is a marvelous historical docudrama. These are the stories not of Egyptian mummies and tombs, as we are used to, but instead stories from the lives of common Egyptian people, as translated from actual ancient documents that have survived throughout the centuries!

    I have seen two episodes of "Ancient Egyptians," and I can't wait to see more! The cinematography and directing is wonderful, as is the recreation of ancient Egyptian settings and the use of the original (as far as I know) language (subtitled in English) instead of trying to transpose the dialogue to English. I am especially grateful for that. I don't think it would have worked at all in English.
  • avatar

    Shaktiktilar

    We have seen in the past a growing convergence between movies on history and documentaries trying to look like movies.

    "Ancient Egyptians" takes a step forward, bringing together a scrupulous attention to facts (from language to scenarios) and super production features (careful casting and acting, special effects, musical score, dramatic plot,...) in a way one can hardly argue against.

    Maybe the only 'drawback' could be a false assimilation between modern Egyptian actors and ancient Egyptians that producers decided to exploit. Even after the carefully restored ancient language and superb acting, the Arab look and gestures does bias character performance.

    Nevertheless, the outcome is a must see. Take every one of the four different tales with time enough to enjoy its delicate features and powerful story telling resources. A more vivid and brighter Egypt will be brought to life for you.
  • avatar

    Dobpota

    4 top-notch 50-minute drama-documentaries about episodes in ancient Egypt with "authentic" Egyptians playing all roles and breathtaking scenery.

    Especially the episodes "The Battle of Megiddo" and "Tomb Robbers" are extremely well played and immensely interesting. The episodes are all made almost as short feature films but and apart from being exciting are full of interesting information on everyday life in ancient Egypt.

    Note Muhamed Soufi's, (Bakwerel, the corrupt chief of police in the episode "Tomb Robbers") priceless mimic and evil stares at his opponents.........

    NOT to be missed - 9 stars out of 10 !!!
  • avatar

    Goll

    Traditional documentaries about Ancient Egypt are all about the Pharaohs at their zenith or about general information on Ancient Egypt you would read in a Library book until now with this documentary.

    Instead of a presenter we get a narrator informing us with recreations of the era in which the narratives are set with actors playing Ancient Egyptians. A key feature is that the Ancient Egyptian language is used with translations whilst a story is being acted a feeling as if the television crew are filming at that particular era.

    Another key feature it is an insight in to the lives of ordinary Egyptians throughout the different periods of Egypt's history from the New Kingdom to Hellenistic times through the use of documents discovered in Egypt contradicting the traditional romanticised and sanitised histories we are usually told especially from the perspective of the political elite of Ancient Egypt and Orthodox History - times have changed but not people

    To conclude entertaining, informative with new perspectives and well acted.
  • avatar

    Netlandinhabitant

    This is a fine production of events that are preserved in ancient documents, letters and hieroglyphs from Ancient Egypt..The sets and costumes are well done and the acting representing these events is quite superb..I am familiar with Ancient Egypt and the representation was as good as you can get with digital enhancement that a novice would appreciate..I recommend this video to anyone with some interest in that period and it was enlightening in it's portrayal of everyday human events from thousands of years ago..The effort made in this video to bring back the events of this period was on a high scale and I sincerely wish that any other portrayal of Ancient Egypt will use this video as a guideline for future quality productions..