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Conquistadors


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Conquistadors + Michael Wood: In Search of Myths and Heroes + Michael Wood's Story of England
Price for all three: $71.47

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Wood, John Collee
  • Directors: David Wallace
  • Writers: Michael Wood
  • Producers: Laurence Rees, Leo Eaton, Rebecca Dobbs, Sally Thomas
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: June 6, 2006
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FGG63O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,754 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Conquistadors" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

ALL THE WORLD IS HUMAN: Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca arrived in Florida in 1528 to explore and conquer. Wood tracks his progress to Tallahassee, where his men launched boats for Mexico that sank off Texas. For five years, Cabeza de Vaca lived among Karankwa and Coahuiltean Indians, then walked across America to the Pacific. Using Cabeza de Vaca's book, Wood travels past prehistoric Mexican desert campsites along ancient Indian trails.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By GhostDeep on July 13, 2007
Format: DVD
Some of the other reviewers have complained that this series doesn't match with the "classic" history authors on the subject. It's my opinion that this view fails to recognize how Michael Wood's documentaries usually operate. His research often has a revisionist ethic, and if you observe the credits and his interviews, many of his sources are often current versus classic experts, and he also goes out of his way, especially in this series, to get folk and indigenous perspectives.

This is in line with his general humanist approach. I for one enjoy it, and while he interprets facts with a an eye for revision or "what ifs" or "just maybe," he never abuses the subject. In fact, he takes us on a journey to question everything we might know or think we know from reading canonical texts.

This particular series is also beautifully shot and taken as a whole is a fresh educational and entertainment experience for those who know little about the Conquistadors and their importance to world history.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By BeckDaytona on May 8, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Whether it shows a lot of actors in costume or not isn't really the point. He takes you through areas as a tour guide and tells you the history. The last part about De Vacca and his revelations and the extraordinary journey was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed this just as much as I do Ken Burns' documentaries, it is a different style. I don't want to see everyone do things the same way. As far as him showing art, he did show art, he also showed you by trying many things how these people survived, what they ate, how they cooked, how they made plows, how the Aztecs made weapons that were inferior to the steel ones the Spaniards came equipped with. Also, the journey of the Incas leaving their beautiful land to try and put separation between themselves and the conquistadors was heartbreaking. I very much enjoyed it and will look forward to more of Michael Wood's exuberant storytelling.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Johnson on December 7, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I teach world languages and my students recently watched the Fall of the Aztecs. My students commented on how interesting this documentary was. They said they get tired of looking at the DVDs with typical historians just showing pictures of things and talking about them. They enjoyed visiting the locations and getting the history along with it. I also enjoyed seeing a historian that doesn't repeat the glorified history but instead, gives the indigenous side. These lands weren't "discovered." People were already living there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter on January 23, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Your own personally guided tour through a sweeping historical narrative. The author takes you over the same paths, roads, jungles and rivers as the Conquistadors traveled. The photography is OUTSTANDING. It adds to the feeling of being there. You can still see remnants of old cities and roads built from stone. You visit the same native peoples as existed in the 1500's. All of this adds to the depth of the story.

I can't say enough good things about this DVD. It is another fine PBS production.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on February 23, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you enjoy factual educational documentaries, then this is the DVD set for you. It gives a very good historical overview of the Conquistadors and their lasting legacy to the peoples they conquered. They also did some good by introducing the people to Christianity. There were abuses of course, that can't be denied, but I found it very interesting all the same and Michael Wood is a good presenter, making history available to everyone.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Full Fathom Five on February 21, 2009
Format: DVD
I was DEEPLY disappointed by this effort by one of the best history
presenters out there. His seminal work, "Trojan War" opened whole
doors for me and is a superb production on almost every level even
if it is somewhat dated by today's standards.

But "Conquistadors" was quite another matter and one need only look
at the contents page of the book to see why. Whereas the book was SIX
chapters long, the video is only FOUR parts. Painfully for me, Wood
chose to leave out almost any mention of the Journey of Cabeza de Vaca
from the video although it is the final chapter of his book. The tale
of de Vaca is perhaps the most fantastic of the Conquistador Tales if
only for its' tragedy and futility. And these qualities are matched by
the sacrifice and determination of those same adventurers.

More to the point, it is THE classic tale of the search for the "Seven
Cities of Gold" that is the culmination of the Conquistador Era.
Instead, Wood choses to conclude with a meandering tale of lost men in
the Amazon Basin that while it is heroic it is also distant from any
of the previous tales as can be. The longer Wood worked his way down-
river the more I was reminded of his early effort in the old "Great
Rail Journeys" PBS/BBC series where he beautifully summed up the
ravages of Colonialism whilst retracing the ruined remains of the old
Congo Railway.

That interpretation of the Congo Railway was a brilliant re-tracing,
this video is just plain up the creek without a paddle. A rental, maybe.
No way a purchase. Borrow the book from the library if you like and
then if you like what you read come back here and look for reprints of
the original histories Wood drew from. Those ARE worth your time indeed.
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