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Greece: Secrets of the Past (IMAX) [Blu-ray] (2006)

Nia Vardalos , Greg MacGillvray  |  NR |  Blu-ray
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nia Vardalos
  • Directors: Greg MacGillvray
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Run Time: 45 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,456 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

Learn more!

IMAX trailer gallery

Making of

Video montage

About MacGillivray Films

Ancient Greece: A Timeline

Film trivia quiz: dig deep

Editorial Reviews

The magic of ancient Greek civilization comes to life in a giant screen adventure! From the Academy Award-nominated producers of Everest, comes a dynamic tale of science, archeological adventure and discovery. Greece: Secrets of the Past takes you to the dawn of democracy and the birthplace of Western Civilization on a quest to uncover the buried secrets of one of the world's most enlightened societies. With stunning aerial photography that captures the breathtaking, azure vistas of the Greek Isles, the film is at once a modern detective story and a sweeping archeological journey back in time. On a scale never before attempted, state-of-the-art CGI recreates the massive eruption that blew Santorini sky-high and to explore the wonder of the Parthenon before it was reduced to ruins. Narrated by Nia Vardalos (star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and with a musical score that will move and inspire, this epic journey of discovery reveals a land of beauty and mystery that ultimately changed history.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Parthenon as in Pericles day! October 2, 2006
I bought this IMAX DVD mainly for the special effects of the Parthenon fully resorted and in it's full glory. I wasn't disappointed! The musical score brought life to the flawless video quality that is the hallmark of all IMAX DVD's.

The narrative nicely ties in the elements of the story with the voice of Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) bringing the story to life.

The highlights are the volcanic eruption of Santorini in 1646BC and of course the Parthenon. I could try to describe what they have done with the latest computing power but you'll have to get the DVD to see what I'm talking about. I also found fascinating (I'm a Greek History buff) was the piece of pottery they found that had Pedicles name written on it. This was used for his ostracism in 430, 3 years into the war with Sparta and 1 year before his death. Also equally fascinating are the restored art work from a building that was buried in the Santorini eruption. What is surprising was the drawing of a ship showing how advanced the Greeks were in the 1600BC's!

For the layperson and history buff's this is 45 minutes of the past coming to life.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Greece Revealed Through Eye Candy April 23, 2007
The producers of Greece Secrets of the Past transport their audience mainly to both Santorini and Athens. They provide some background information about Ancient Greece so that a modern audience can better relate to the achievements of Ancient Greeks. The aerial photography is simply stunning, especially when the film is viewed on an IMAX screen. The producers use computer-generated imagery with great dexterity to restore the Parthenon and Goddess Athena in all their greatness as contemporaries could admire them on the acropolis in the fifth century BCE. As a narrator, Nia Vardalos makes this journey entertaining. However, Greece Secrets of the Past is ultimately just eye candy compared to Secrets of Archeaology, a six-DVD set about 27 archeological sites. Secrets of Archeaology contains among other destinations several unforgettable journeys to the most remarkable sites of Ancient Greece.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but Limited February 22, 2009
I found the video interesting for what it contained, but was disappointed by the large focus on one volcanic island and relatively little information and perspective on the large and more complex history, art and culture of Greece. For those with a broader interest, I would recommend the National Geographic videos as a better investment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
As a world history teacher, I am always on the lookout for new materials that I could use in class. I did not see this movie on IMAX where the grand sweeping scenery shots would have been very effective and probably would have distracted me from the scarcity of detail. But, watching it with on a little color TV in my dining room (which would be a similar scale that the students in the back of my class would experience) the amazing pictures just did not cover up the lack of actual information.

I did the math once and noted that I had about 5,000 minutes of class time to cover 5,000 years of recorded history. I keep that fact in mind when I am looking at movies that I could use in class. This movie is very beautiful and enthusiastic but just does not cut the mustard for classroom use. Instead, I recommend "Greece: A Moment of Excellence" in Time Life's Lost Civilizations [4 DVDs]. Certainly, the set costs more than this one DVD but it includes 10 movies in total.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
want a real good documentary on ancient greece? - look elsewhere.

yes, you may learn a few things about ancient greece by watching this - but altogether it was just kind of humdrum and threadbare on content. it is not that there is no great CGI, (and there isn't - great computer graphics do NOT make a good documentary - really don't care about that). and besides being threadbare on content the narration was filled with platitudes and the music i found to be either depressing or bombastic. mostly depressing. again, not much here. sorry i got it - off to my local 'movie stop' store to trade it in!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little boring but overall okay. November 7, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
I bought this flim as an addition to our homeschool unit on Ancient Greece. I found it to be a bit bland and well, boring. My 5th grader seemed to enjoy it though....I just felt there was so much more they could have discussed. Overall it was okay.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars By far not the best IMAX movie June 9, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Probably worth seing in IMAX theatre, but falls short of expectations when you want something exciting for your home DVD library. Not really bad, with some nice shots, but not as good as most IMAX movies I have see,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Santorini is Unveiled August 18, 2009
This is a beautifully sensitive telling of the tragic events that lead to the eruption of Santorini and the mystery of it's lost people. Being of Greek ancestory and proud of my heritage, like Nia Vardalos, the images to me are haunting. The IMAX cinematography beautifully captures the brilliant colors and spectacular landscape of the island just like I remember it. Seeing the computer generated reconstruction of the Parthenon is as mind boggling on the small screen as it must have been intended when viewed up close and personal by the Atheneans when it was completed. Seeing the colors and images of the reconstructed lost mosaics only just begins to reveal that there was so much more to this lost island community. And, unfortunately, an hour long program can not begin to capture what these Ancient people built and ultimately contributed to civilization as we know it today. It is up to the viewer to pursue the rest of the story on his/her own.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Interesting. Too short.
Published 1 month ago by tina
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best videos on Ancient Greece and the discovery of the...
One of the best videos about Ancient Greece you will ever see. I bought two copies. I first saw this imax film at the Museum of Science in Boston. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Arnelli Paparelli
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful scenes and music, Greek history!
As a fan of Greece I absolutely loved this. The first half includes beautiful aerial shots of Santorini, while the second half focuses on Athens. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Casper Chauncey
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and sharp portrayal of the historical past secrets of ...
Wonderful and sharp portrayal of the historical past secrets of Greece. I had the standard version before this one and there is so much sharper photography in this version that... Read more
Published 3 months ago by John J. Faklis
5.0 out of 5 stars Most exciting "documentary" I have seen!
Can a documentary be exciting? Yes, if they cut three hours of drab dragging on about nothing and cut to the chase, rebuilding history with visual models! Read more
Published 7 months ago by G. Anderson
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
Having been to Greece and in particular Athens, I had hoped this film would show the ruins as they are today and what they would have looked liked when new. It was not to be.
Published 8 months ago by Hans Dieter Wulf
4.0 out of 5 stars Best part special effects recreations.
The best part was the special effects recreation of the Parthenon. The rest was also good, but not very deep. Read more
Published 11 months ago by PDH
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
Exploration of historical event. So for those who love history this is great. This captures the breathtaking beauty of Santorini
Published 15 months ago by Judy D'Angelo
4.0 out of 5 stars Good show
If you have studied much of all on Ancient Greece, your probably not going to learn much from this show. But its beautifully presented and I still enjoyed it. Read more
Published 15 months ago by John Tibbs
4.0 out of 5 stars greece
the cradle of all of western ideas. was a interesting tape. I found it comprehensive. li enjoyed the film. it is the next best thing to actually visiting.
Published 15 months ago by Claudia L. Hildreth
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