Customer Review

170 of 173 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An experience in its own right, April 20, 2002
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This review is from: Lewis & Clark - The Journey of the Corps of Discovery (DVD)
This film makes history live. The Core of Discovery expedition was more than a century and a half before my birth and yet, this film made me feel as if I were a member.
Like other Ken Burns films, it is long. However, like other Ken Burns films, it encouraged me to take my time. I watched the 4 hours one segment at a time in the evenings with dinner over the course of almost two weeks. And what a viewing!
I never knew that the Lewis and Clark expedition was a military expedition. I never knew that Lewis and Clark where military officers and that they took a platoon of soldiers with them. I never knew that they took plant and animal samples, including sending a live ground hog back to Thomas Jefferson.
I never knew that the expedition was called the Core of Discovery or that these two incredible military officers took so many soldiers such an incredible distance over the course of years and lost only one, who was lost to a disease that most likely no one could have cured at the time. I never knew that they drew the first map of most of the United States, using only dead reconning and were accurate to withing 40 miles of the actual distance despite their primative instruments and a distance of some 4,000 miles! I never knew these men were so incredible. And, I never knew that Merriweather Lewis was so incredibly depressed that he died, "I'm sorry to say," by suicide.
This film is so personal, I felt the tears that the historian on the film displayed when he told of Lewis' death. He died more than a century before my birth and yet, by the time I was finished with the film, I felt pain for his death, anger at York's difficulty gaing his freedom and sadness at the passing of the Shoshone Indian lady guide Sakajeya.
Films like this might actually make me like history, a topic I learned to hate in elementary school. I wish there were more historical films like this one. I wish I were on Ken Burns' staff. I'd love to do research like this. I'd love to bring life not only to history, but to the people who view it. What a great film!
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 13, 2012 11:03:53 AM PST
Really great review! I appreciate that you took the time to write this, it's very helpful in my deciding whether or not to purchase it as a gift for my Father. High-Five to you! Thank you for your detailed review of this DVD.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2013 7:55:03 PM PST
The fact that Ms. Hu did not know so many of the most basic facts about Lewis and Clark is a testament to the total failure of our public schools. I'm glad she's getting an education on her own.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2013 5:37:05 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 14, 2013 5:37:59 AM PST
I went to junior high school in Clarkston, Washington in the Lewis-Clark valley. They were near gods there as was Sacagawea. There's a statue of her in Lewiston, Idaho, which is basically the same city, just on the other side of the state line. These were the characters of my childhood stories.
http://lewisandclarktrail.com/section4/wacities/clarkston/sacajaweafountain.htm

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 5:14:12 PM PDT
G. Heilman says:
Charlotte I knew they were Military Officers, what really hit me was how the Spanish had sent troops to capture and possibly kill the Corp of Discovery group to stop them. Then it was told this was not done just once but twice and fortunately for us they missed both times.
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Location: San Antonio, TX, United States

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