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Secrets of the Dead: Lost in the Amazon

Narrated by LIEV SCHREIBER , Peter Von Puttkamer  |  NR |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Narrated by LIEV SCHREIBER
  • Directors: Peter Von Puttkamer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS (DIRECT)
  • DVD Release Date: May 31, 2011
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004NJC0OI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,684 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A modern day quest to find the truth behind one of exploration s greatest mysteries: What happened to famed adventurer Col. Percy Fawcett who went looking for a city of gold the Lost City of Z in the Amazon in 1925 and disappeared in the jungles of Brazil forever? New archaeological digs, the science behind the discovery of newly found jungle cities and clues collected over the years reveal the fate of Fawcett. SECRETS OF THE DEAD unravels the truth of what really happened to Fawcett, and shares surprising finds that are causing experts to re-think the image of a pristine uninhabited Amazon rainforest a place that before Columbus may have had large populations living in sophisticated towns and cities.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid PBS work, weak DVD on specs and extra features January 15, 2012
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No argument needed to support the quality of work as a whole that PBS puts out, especially with this underrated series Secrets of the box set links are available but here are a couple others that are forgotten about almost entirely Secrets of the Dead - Herculaneum Uncovered & Mumbai Massacre. These films are poorly distributed and get little press, so don't let the fact that this latest one gets no fanfare be your reason to skip it. In fact the only reason I got the film was a copy had been quietly displayed at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco this month.

The production is standard in the mix of present day talking heads and lens-filtered re-enactments telling the story of how Col. Percy Fawcett disappeared in the Amazon some 85 years ago looking for a fabled city. The information is crammed together in too little time (runs 60 minutes) and there are definitely moments where I wish they had been more articulate with the locations being shown. For example, the main adventurer guy kept using printed Google Earth maps and showing the people he encountered in the film, but never to the viewer (and unfortunately I failed at being able to pause a quality image and figure out where they really were on my own computer).

The information presented is intriguing, though I could go for less of the cheesy re-enacting on the speculations of how they died to fir more research material into the time slot, but it was worth the watch and I feel like I learned some good history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Lost World of Z . . . December 5, 2012
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After reading the book "Lost World of Z," I was very anxious to see this documentary about the characters and the remaining family members. My son had already viewed this and knew I would want to see it. I very much enjoyed it, but would have loved for it to have gone into more detail. Read the book first then watch this DVD. I highly recommend it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Highly interesting, but it only whet my appetite May 12, 2013
This impressive documentary investigates the disappearance of legendary explorer Percy Fawcett, who apparently died in 1925 in the Amazon jungle while searching for the lost city of `Z'. His disappearance has long been the subject of speculation and has spawned numerous expeditions in an attempt to uncover his fate.

Fawcett was an experienced explorer and believed the many legends about gleaming cities in the Amazon. On this trip he took his 22-year old son and his son's best friend. However, the younger men were ill-prepared for the trip and this expedition was underfunded.

In the documentary modern-day outdoorsman Niall McCann examines Fawcett's personal records from the trip, which were sent back to civilization by runners accompanying the journey. However, the team eventually ventured too deep into the jungle to entice any more runners, and Fawcett was never heard from again.

Much of the jungle that Fawcett trekked through has since been cut-down. However, this investigative team finds what they believe was his final encampment location (still forested) using Google earth and modern GPS equipment. The documentary covers some possible explanations for their fates.

I enjoyed the documentary and Niall McCann's explanations as they went along. However, I felt the material was spread too thin trying to cover every possible aspect of the event. So nothing was examined too deeply. I recommend Secrets of the Dead: Lost in the Amazon but was left wanting more.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating to the end September 25, 2013
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I was very pleased with this movie. Have been in the Mata Grosso & can attest to its ferocity & magnificence! This movie is an understatement if anything to what one faces in the truly unknown world of the mighty Amazon!
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Leader Dies on Stupid Mission July 23, 2011
Mr. Fawcett was trying to find a supposed lost city in South America circa 1925 and was never seen again. This happened after Macchu Pichu (sp?) was discovered in the 1910s. This work tries to spell out why he took this risk and what could have happened to him. It tries to make the issue relevant to modern viewers by stating that Fawcett may have been an influence for the Indiana Jones character. Many search parties set out to find him and some of those searchers died trying.

This work tries hard to vindicate Mr. Fawcett. It said that rings in the ground do show that a relatively advance civilization may have lived in the area Fawcett was searching. However, the work stated that many people made phony maps because they wanted to trick investors into paying for their escapades. Fawcett believed a lot of stuff that swamis and gurus said to him and maybe he was gullible. I don't want to laugh at anyone's death, especially if it happens tragically. But maybe this Fawcett guy was just naive and foolish! In fact, the work is a bit straw man: they only give their hypothesis about how he, his son, and his son's friend died way near the end and it's anti-climactic and not thrilling or racy in the slightest.

Wearing my non-Eurocentric cap, I have some more concerns. (By the way, the narrator's pronunciation of Spanish words is atrocious, almost as bad as Dr. Skip Gates'.) The narrator repeats that this supposed city was built by "white Indians." Is there racism in that idea? Is it implied that brown or red people could not have made advanced structures? Were the Indians called white because white adventurers wanted their ancestors to be the only ones given credit for impressive structures? In hot South America, why would any indigenous group of people be white-skinned?
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