One of the most remarkable and, I believe, important documentary series of the last thirty years is Michael Wood’s Legacy: The Search for Civilization series. Certainly it was the most important to me. It’s sounds cheesy, but in 1992 it changed my entire worldview, literally how I viewed the world. In six shows the different peoples of the world went from vaguely mysterious places to vibrant cultures with ancient pasts which still colored the people’s lives and outlook. It was the final inspiration for my study of History and Anthropology.
In the U.S., we live in a xenophobic era where terror over the other has taken hold over the minds of so many, too many, like I have never seen in my lifetime. This series brought me, if not a full understanding, at least some understanding and an appreciation for “the other.” These people’s cultural uniqueness giving sight into human existence one simply can not get for their own cultural point of view. It reminds us that, despite the violence and hatred, we are all human beings and that our differences are wonderous and vital to our world and understanding it.
I think everyone should watch it.
This is a copy on YouTube, so you can watch it for me. The picture quality is awful (it came out in 1992), but it is still worth watching. Thisis the first in the playlist:
Vists to Varanasi (Benares) for Hanuman Jayanti and climbing Mount Tai (Tai Shang) to watch the sunrise are on my bucket list.