Friday, July 4, 2014

Documentary Round-Up

A few of the documentaries we have watched lately...

 The Story of India- -This is a long, lavish six hour film that covers the history and culture of India. Obviously, even though there are six episodes, many historical events are glossed over with not a lot of depth about any one thing. That was just fine with us- it was still a wonderful introduction to a fascinating culture.  This series is narrated by Michael Wood, who travels throughout India in order to provide a historical overview. He is clearly very passionate about his topic! His love for India shines through and really makes this series memorable and fun.  During the series he spends a lot of time talking and visiting with local people, rather than doing just touristy stuff or lecturing. Some parts of this series will probably be a bit dry for younger kids, but there is enough beautiful footage to hold their attention for the majority of the time.

As far as concerns for young viewers- the only thing I noticed was the mention of the Kama Sutra during episode 4. I was not expecting that, but I just skipped ahead and I think only Grace noticed it.  I did go back and watch it before I wrote this. It is not over the top or graphic, but I would definitely recommend viewing it ahead of time to see if it would bother you.

IMAX Kingdom of the Tiger- We watched this because the kids requested something "more like Wild China but for India".  There is a lot of information in this documentary about why tigers are endangered and what is being done to help them. Much of the story focuses around Jim Corbett, the famed tiger-hunter turned tiger-protector.  There is nothing very graphic here, though there are some photos of dead tigers, which were sometimes disturbing. I do wish there had been more tiger footage, which was what I had expected from the title. We may look for another film for that. We watched part of the bonus feature about a young woman traveling to India to see her first tiger, but found it rather dry and uninspiring.

IMAX Island of the Sharks-I have to say that IMAX has some misleading titles! We expected this one to be mainly about sharks, but it was about Cocos Island, an underwater refuge for lots of different sea creatures, including sharks. There was some great footage of hammerhead sharks and their predator behavior ( I had no idea sharks hunted in packs like we saw on the film!), but most of the footage was of other sea life. That was fine with us though- we really enjoyed this film! The underwater scenery was spectacular, like going scuba diving in our living room. We also enjoyed the special feature about the making of the film where the crew explained all of the hard work that went into it. I thought it was great for the kids to see just how difficult getting all that beautiful footage is!

I'm sure I'll have another documentary round-up in a few weeks.  Have a wonderful holiday weekend!


  1. Have you watched Wild Africa? There are 6 episodes that cover various parts of Africa - rivers, mountains, etc. Very beautifully done.

  2. No- I didn't even know there was one! We are going to be reading about Africa soon and will definitely watch that-the kids will be very excited. Thanks!


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