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4.6 out of 5 stars
The Great Rift: Africa's Greatest Story
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136 of 136 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2010
If you've seen any of the other HD nature documentaries from BBC (Planet Earth, Life, Nature's Most Amazing Events, etc), you already know what to expect from this series. There is nothing groundbreaking here, just more of the amazing, high-quality, exciting nautre scenes that, frankly, only BBC knows how to deliver. While I wish David Attenborough had narrated the series, simply because no one else has that kind of gravitas, Hugh Quarshie's narration is decent and takes nothing away from the presentation.

East Africa had already been pretty well documented before this series. I have also traveled there. And still, in shot after shot, this series showed me things I had never before seen.

If you're a fan of high-quality, serious, beautiful nature documentaries, pick this up right away.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2010
Another outstanding documentary with a combination of great photography and good information about the geological and ecological development of this area of Africa. Highly recommended.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2011
This DVD has the best video images I have ever seen. I viewed this on a 53" Sony Hi Def TV. The images were solid, the color intense and many scenes appeared nearly three dimensional. Over and over again we replayed a section just because of the quality of the image on the screen.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2011
Having just been in Tanzania at the Serengeti, Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater, we could especially appreciate the content and visual quality of this 3 hour documentary about the Rift Valley. The footage and sound are amazing. How they get so close to the animals is a mystery. Clearly the film team is highly professional and accomplished. The information content is exceptional and this DVD provided hours of entertainment and fascination for the whole family even for our 2 year old niece. A wonderful DVD to have in the library. Well done BBC.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The BBC's The Great Rift is an amazing journey through one of the most diverse and unique regions on Earth, located in eastern Africa. The various animals and plants there presented in the documentary are astounding and really reminded me what a wonderful world this is. The facts presented also show just how vulnerable and fragile all these amazing places are. It is narrated by Hugh Quarshie, who some people may remember from his role in Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace as Queen Amidala's Captain of the Guard.

The BBC has a long history of making great documentaries and this one does not let down the tradition. The cinematography is sharp, the locations are amazing in their remoteness and each episode is followed by a short anecdotal section showing just how much work the crew put into getting the footage they shot. The presentation is broke into three parts all telling the story of the Great Rift from different angles. One focuses on the geological aspect, describing how fire and lava have played a role in forging the shear valleys and mighty volcanoes. The next talks about how water and lack of it have affected the evolution of plants and animals in the area. The third and final installment talks about how the grasslands that make up most of the area came to be and in turn affect everything in and around them. It is an astonishing story to say the least.

I can't lie about the fact that I am a huge fan of the BBC's natural world documentary series. Like the others, The Great Rift looks amazing on the HD release and really catches your eye. The only downer to the whole thing is just how threatened it all is by human encroachment. I recommend this movie with 5 stars for anyone who loves nature for what it is and for everyone else who may not know the natural world that is out there. I hope it brings the wonder to everyone that it brings to me and opens eyes and hearts to taking the preservation of the natural world more seriously.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2012
When it comes to nature films, NOBODY does it better than BBC's Natural History Unit! The photography is superlative high definition, the content very interresting and informative, plus, I personally prefer the original BBC versions with British narrators than Discovery Channel's re-issued "Americanized" versions which replace the original voice with voice-overs using American actors instead! Why would they do that? England IS where the English language comes from, don't cha know?
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2011
A great video to watch. A great and different view of the African Wild-Life, not just your usual lions and such, Silver Back Gorillas, and much much more.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This producer is good and really good and no wonder it is part of the BBC Earth collection. His other productions are as astonishing as this. You want to learn about Africa topography, nature and ecosystem, this is the one to watch. Double Bravo.
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on April 14, 2014
I think every student should watch this movie. It is biologically and geographically the most relevant documentary I have ever seen. The photography is so stunning, especially on Blu-ray. I had no idea the Rift was so large and so diverse as well as ringed with volcanic activity. I will watch this several times and pass it on to my grandchildren.
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on April 12, 2014
Yes it is possible to get 'animal documentary overload' but the chances of it are minimalized if you stick to quality organisations like the BBC Natural History Unit.

This production maintains their fine standards and really excels in portraying one of the more iconic areas of Africa - the great rift - with verve and splendid photography. This film showcases this geographic feature from top to bottom in terms of looking at the breadth of animal life that inhabits the area and neatly presents how so much of what goes on there is intertwined.

At almost three hours running time you are getting value and if that sort of length is daunting then consume it in chunks. A fine purchase for the animal lover and/or armchair traveller.
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