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The British Empire in Color (2002)

Art Malik  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Art Malik
  • Producers: Adrian Wood, Lucy Carter, Stewart Binns
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • 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: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: April 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0013F60GE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,294 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The British Empire in Color" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Making-of documentary

Editorial Reviews


"Sound, balanced and extremely well presented" -- Movie City News

"The footage is incredible" -- Film Monthly

A superb production and a very highly recommended addition" -- Library Bookwatch

Product Description

Rare footage and eyewitness accounts chronicle the decline of a once vast power

The British Empire brought education, technology, law, and democracy to the four corners of the globe. It also brought prejudice, discrimination, cultural bigotry, and racism. With an unblinking eye, this three-part series examines the complexities, contradictions, and legacies of empire, both positive and negative.

Rare and often very early color film from major archives and private collections gives a front-row view of history in the making: the Partition of India, the birth of the state of Israel, the Suez crisis, the rise of black nationalism in Africa, the handover of Hong Kong, and more. Personal letters and diary excerpts describe the experiences of the rulers and the ruled.

Produced by a BAFTA- and Peabody-winning team, narrated by Art Malik (The Jewel in the Crown), this fascinating series charts Britain’s imperial path from the zenith of the Raj to the disintegration of the empire and the multicultural future it faces today.

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE a 26-minute "making of" documentary that describes how the series was researched and developed.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
There was indeed a time when the sun never set upon the globe-spanning British empire whose peak was reached under the reign of Queen Victoria. Ably narrated by Art Malik, the 20th century decline and eventual collapse of that venerable empire is superbly documented in an historical survey that is unique in that it is presented with color film taken from major archives and private collections. Presented in three major parts (The Decline of Empire; The Fall of Empire; The Aftermath of Empire), this mini-series charts Britain's empire country by country, beginning with India, justifiably considered the chief jewel in the imperial crown., "The British Empire In Color" proceeds with an informed and informative overview of both British contributions with respect to education, technology, law, and democracy to its possession, as well as the prejudice, discrimination, cultural bigotry and racism it fostered as a means of controlling its subject populations. Covering the partition of India and Pakistan, the creation of Palestine and Israel, the Suez crisis, the rise of Black Nationalism leading to the emancipation of the African colonies, the handover of Hong Kong to the Chinese, and more. Of special note is the use of personal letters and diary excerpts from both the British and their colonial subjects. Enhanced with the inclusion of a 26-minute 'making of' documentary on how the series was researched and developed, "The British Empire In Color" is a superb production and a very highly recommended addition for personal, community, and school library DVD collections in general.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute treasure trove of imagry. August 1, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Delightfully, more color film continues to be found, restored and shared. History does live in our present beliefs, conflicts, loves and tragedies; it was, as it is now, in glorious, gory color. Maybe these newer generations, not as protected by B&W, will pay better attention to our human story. Amazing to see Gandhi in color, and as one who spent a brief 3 years in colonial East Africa (58-61, me being 8-11 years old), the material on the Mau-Mau uprising and Kenya's eventual independence was simply astounding. History fans, anglophiles, documentary film enthusiasts should be well pleased. My only wish is for more, even more of this stuff, please and thank you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative August 8, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is somewhat of a fresh look at the too-often vilified British Empire (you know, it has become so tediously and fastidiously politically-correct to bash the British). This presents a more balanced point of view.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arguably the most impressive description of empire October 2, 2009
I am a great fan of documentaries. And I have seen many on the British empire. This is exceptional and singular. As a product of a British stlye education in post colonial Ghana, I was entralled to follow the events leading to Ghana's independence in 1957. In truth, it all started with Gandhi. It is all the more thrilling to watch the account on modern day Britain; a true potpourri of the remnants of degradation of empire.
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