Customer Reviews


58 Reviews
5 star:
 (21)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (8)
2 star:
 (10)
1 star:
 (11)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent information for an appealing documentary!
I found this documentary very informative and beautiful to watch. As other reviewers have noted, this does not have as much factual information as an educated reader could learn from a text in the same time as it takes to view the film - but these media serve different purposes and, frankly, different people, or at least people with different inclinations about how they...
Published 17 months ago by Laura M. Place

versus
43 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Common Selective Reading of History
Historian Bettany Hughes gives a decent, sometimes too politically correct overview of the influence of Islam on Medieval Spain. Ms. Hughes starts her journey with the conquest of the Visigoth Kingdom by the Moors coming from North Africa at the beginning of the 8th century C.E. She ends this journey with the fall of the Moorish Kingdom of Granada at the hands of the...
Published on December 16, 2008 by Serge J. Van Steenkiste


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent information for an appealing documentary!, April 19, 2013
This review is from: WHEN THE MOORS RULED IN EUROPE (DVD)
I found this documentary very informative and beautiful to watch. As other reviewers have noted, this does not have as much factual information as an educated reader could learn from a text in the same time as it takes to view the film - but these media serve different purposes and, frankly, different people, or at least people with different inclinations about how they would like to spend their time.

The information I learned here does also align with what I had already learned about this period of Spain's history from other sources, so I am doubtful that she is somehow just trying to be an iconoclast for the sake of being shocking. Rather, I suspect she takes on material that tends to be colored in one, plausibly inaccurate, light - history, as they say, is written by the victors (and sometimes the dictators, later on, like Franco).

Yes, Bettany Hughes is beautiful and is shown speaking to the camera and interviewing other people in the documentary, just as men have been and continue to do in documentaries on diverse subjects. I am not, in the slightest, aware how her physical presence on screen detracts from the documentary, or how she is seen as self-aggrandizing. I don't recall a single comment she made in the documentary about how intelligent she is or how much she knows or even why she knows it. I think that this ad hominem attack is probably simply because she is a woman, period, in a male-dominated field.

I would agree with the reviewer who noted that it would be wise to discuss the contributions of the Jewish people to learning, in the time of Moorish Spain, as well as the consequences to them of the Spanish Inquisition, but I do not think it is a dramatic failing of the film. Perhaps, in a way, the saddest part of losing that is a chance to discuss the general religious tolerance that prevailed for even a couple hundred years in a significant part of Al-Andalus.

I strongly suspect that some of the reviewers who disliked this documentary the most did so because it is an uncomfortable revision of incomplete and inaccurate information they learned earlier - and paints early relations between Christians and Muslims in a corner of Europe with a more complex palette than most dialogue would today imply is appropriate. For instance, many still often refer to "The Crusaders" as a unified and somehow holy force, when it was much more of a political and economic move - and Crusaders were, overall, as likely as Saracens to fight and destroy unmercifully.

Where her points seem heavy-handed, I believe it is born out of frustration over the areas where correction is most needed. In her documentaries, I find she tends not to make particularly any religious group look good or bad - but whomever chooses to destroy knowledge by burning and sacking centers of learning - they end up looking bad all by themselves. It's not as if she decided that the Christian mode of conquering should include this habit, whether at Alexandria or Granada.

I am hoping to seek out additional documentaries by her and perhaps to check out a couple of her books. If I could give her 4.5 stars, for the missing parts that I think are relevant, I would do so. As it is, I think rounding up is appropriate, given the woeful reasons for low star reviews I find here.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Job!, December 29, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: WHEN THE MOORS RULED IN EUROPE (DVD)
It is one of the best documentaries that I have ever seen before about Spain. The Spanish people should see this video if they want to know their past.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


43 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Common Selective Reading of History, December 16, 2008
This review is from: WHEN THE MOORS RULED IN EUROPE (DVD)
Historian Bettany Hughes gives a decent, sometimes too politically correct overview of the influence of Islam on Medieval Spain. Ms. Hughes starts her journey with the conquest of the Visigoth Kingdom by the Moors coming from North Africa at the beginning of the 8th century C.E. She ends this journey with the fall of the Moorish Kingdom of Granada at the hands of the armies of the Catholic Monarchs Isabella and Ferdinand at the end of the 15th century C.E. Ms. Hughes introduces her audience to the splendors of Moorish architecture in cities such as Grenada, Cordoba, and Toledo. Ms. Hughes rightly reminds viewers about the decisive but often-ignored contribution of Moorish Spain to the European Renaissance in domains such as medicine, mathematics, and astronomy. Italy is usually credited as the key driver for the European Renaissance. To her credit, Ms. Hughes emphasizes that the Christian Reconquista of Moorish Spain often was about gaining land, prestige, and wealth under a veneer of religious fervor. The Reconquista turned out to be a civil war rather than the black-and-white antagonism between Christianity and Islam that has carried the day in the popular imagination. Many inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula converted to Islam for a variety of reasons in the centuries following the arrival of the Moors. Ms. Hughes rightly compares the expulsion of many Muslims from Spain after 1492 C.E. with what is today understood as ethnic cleansing. Ms. Hughes is at her weakest when she almost completely ignores the important contribution of the Jewish community to the splendor of Moorish Spain. This lapse of judgment is somewhat surprising because Ms. Hughes rightly denounces again and again the selective interpretation that has been given to the contribution of Moorish Spain to this day.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


64 of 85 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Brothers & Sisters, Don't Waste Your Money or Time!, February 19, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: WHEN THE MOORS RULED IN EUROPE (DVD)
This review is the opinion of 3 people that watched this dvd.
If you are in the process of studying our stolen history as I am, don't bother with this dvd. This product it seems, is more about the historian presenting it. The whole thing is following her through a few buildings and lands while she talks. I learned more from 2 pages of my book on the Moors than this whole dvd. The dvd even has her biography on it! Not information about the Moors, about HER!
Do as you please, but I'm trying to tell you so you won't be angry about the price you paid for this boring dvd.The Europeans may find it interesting, but we (AA)didn't. I'll be selling my copy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


38 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Few TV Documentaries Rise to this Level, October 10, 2008
This review is from: WHEN THE MOORS RULED IN EUROPE (DVD)
Combining excellent imagery, appropriate graphics, and expert narration, this documentary boldly goes into historical depth and will not lose its viewers in the process. Rather than cultural bias, historical pragmatics are at the heart of this somewhat new approach to Spain under Muslim rule. It is not a revisionist view for most of us who have been following developments in this field for the past 25 years; it is now completely accepted among scholars that the divisions between the muslims and other groups in Spain were exaggerated in the past. However, Islam in the middle ages was anything but marginal in its level of sophistication. What better way to demonstrate this than with the wonderfully technical yet never dry diagrams of the Alhambra in this film. Olé (yes, the muslims gave Spain that word, too)!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


53 of 75 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Missed Opportunity, June 4, 2008
This review is from: WHEN THE MOORS RULED IN EUROPE (DVD)
This is an important topic which deserved a far more comprehensive treatment. If you knew nothing about this subject except what you saw in the DVD then you would conclude that Muslims were all wonderful, Christians were all bad, and that Jews hardly existed in Medieval Spain. For example, Hughes uses the word Crusade, but not Jihad. She also skirts the reasons just how Islam expanded from Arabia to France and Persia in less than a century. It was not just due to the attractiveness of its ideas. On the positive side, she explores the contributions Muslims made in preserving and expanding upon the works of Greece and Rome and how they were transmitted to the West. I only wish she spent more time discussing Averroes, Avicenna, and other great scholars. She might also have spent some time discussing how and why Islam turned its back on science and philosophy in the 12th and 13th centuries. We in the West need to understand more about the rise, grandeur, and decline of Islam followed by the rise of the so called gunpowder empires in Turkey, Iran, and India without fear of being politically incorrect.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and Informative, August 26, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: WHEN THE MOORS RULED IN EUROPE (DVD)
Like many Americans, I have been unsure of what to think of Islam and the history of its interaction with the West. One thing of which I am sure is that I am not getting the straight story from major media outlets. I have therefore embarked upon research of my own. Much of the reading is heavy and at times requires that one become familiar with many new terms. This documentary was, however, an extremely informative video that allowed to relax and learn at the same time. It reinforced much of what I have learned while reading about Islam over the past few years and was overall very enjoyable. I recommend it for anyone who is trying to learn more about the relationship between Islam and the West.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An alternative view., November 7, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: WHEN THE MOORS RULED IN EUROPE (DVD)
This is an excellent 'documentary styled' video that presents an alternative but balanced view on the Moorish period in Spain's turbulent history.
Worth adding to any video collection. Entertaining and educational with excellent views of the magnificent Alhambra and Andalucian cities, all of which should be on the top of your 'must visit list'.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars HORRIBLY Short Sided, February 4, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: WHEN THE MOORS RULED IN EUROPE (DVD)
This DVD uses Moors title to attract interest but barely touched on their accomplishments. Mostly credits Islam or Muslim with things that the Moors did. You'll get better info on the moors from Ivan Van Sertima "Golden Age of the Moors" book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Moors were Black. Not just Muslim. It never says that in the film., June 27, 2012
This review is from: WHEN THE MOORS RULED IN EUROPE (DVD)
This Film was ok but i spent almost 2hours and they only made it seem like they were Muslim. Being Muslim is not a race! They never said that the Moors were black! That's what Moors means! Its a colors.

When you mention Moors its talking about Black people. They made it seem like they were Arabs! That's like telling the story of Michael Jordan, telling all the great things he did, but never saying he was black! Saying the moors were Muslim is like saying Jordan was a Bull. If you were going to tell the story you have to say they were black! White people wanna always tell a story with leaving out the fact black people were involved. Just like the Egyptians!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

WHEN THE MOORS RULED IN EUROPE
WHEN THE MOORS RULED IN EUROPE by Timothy Copestake (DVD - 2008)
$24.99 $15.32
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.