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Greece: Secrets of the Past (IMAX) [Blu-ray]

4.0 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The magic of ancient Greek civilization comes to life in a giant screen adventure! From the Academy Award-nominated producers of Everest, comes a dynamic tale of science, archeological adventure and discovery. Greece: Secrets of the Past takes you to the dawn of democracy and the birthplace of Western Civilization on a quest to uncover the buried secrets of one of the world's most enlightened societies. With stunning aerial photography that captures the breathtaking, azure vistas of the Greek Isles, the film is at once a modern detective story and a sweeping archeological journey back in time. On a scale never before attempted, state-of-the-art CGI recreates the massive eruption that blew Santorini sky-high and to explore the wonder of the Parthenon before it was reduced to ruins. Narrated by Nia Vardalos (star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and with a musical score that will move and inspire, this epic journey of discovery reveals a land of beauty and mystery that ultimately changed history.

Special Features

Learn more!

IMAX trailer gallery

Making of

Video montage

About MacGillivray Films

Ancient Greece: A Timeline

Film trivia quiz: dig deep


Product Details

  • Actors: Nia Vardalos
  • Directors: Greg MacGillvray
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT
  • Run Time: 45 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004USUOVI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,811 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mike Beri on October 2, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this IMAX DVD mainly for the special effects of the Parthenon fully resorted and in it's full glory. I wasn't disappointed! The musical score brought life to the flawless video quality that is the hallmark of all IMAX DVD's.

The narrative nicely ties in the elements of the story with the voice of Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) bringing the story to life.

The highlights are the volcanic eruption of Santorini in 1646BC and of course the Parthenon. I could try to describe what they have done with the latest computing power but you'll have to get the DVD to see what I'm talking about. I also found fascinating (I'm a Greek History buff) was the piece of pottery they found that had Pedicles name written on it. This was used for his ostracism in 430, 3 years into the war with Sparta and 1 year before his death. Also equally fascinating are the restored art work from a building that was buried in the Santorini eruption. What is surprising was the drawing of a ship showing how advanced the Greeks were in the 1600BC's!

For the layperson and history buff's this is 45 minutes of the past coming to life.
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Format: DVD
The producers of Greece Secrets of the Past transport their audience mainly to both Santorini and Athens. They provide some background information about Ancient Greece so that a modern audience can better relate to the achievements of Ancient Greeks. The aerial photography is simply stunning, especially when the film is viewed on an IMAX screen. The producers use computer-generated imagery with great dexterity to restore the Parthenon and Goddess Athena in all their greatness as contemporaries could admire them on the acropolis in the fifth century BCE. As a narrator, Nia Vardalos makes this journey entertaining. However, Greece Secrets of the Past is ultimately just eye candy compared to Secrets of Archeaology, a six-DVD set about 27 archeological sites. Secrets of Archeaology contains among other destinations several unforgettable journeys to the most remarkable sites of Ancient Greece.
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I found the video interesting for what it contained, but was disappointed by the large focus on one volcanic island and relatively little information and perspective on the large and more complex history, art and culture of Greece. For those with a broader interest, I would recommend the National Geographic videos as a better investment.
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want a real good documentary on ancient greece? - look elsewhere.

yes, you may learn a few things about ancient greece by watching this - but altogether it was just kind of humdrum and threadbare on content. it is not that there is no great CGI, (and there isn't - great computer graphics do NOT make a good documentary - really don't care about that). and besides being threadbare on content the narration was filled with platitudes and the music i found to be either depressing or bombastic. mostly depressing. again, not much here. sorry i got it - off to my local 'movie stop' store to trade it in!
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I bought this flim as an addition to our homeschool unit on Ancient Greece. I found it to be a bit bland and well, boring. My 5th grader seemed to enjoy it though....I just felt there was so much more they could have discussed. Overall it was okay.
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One of the best videos about Ancient Greece you will ever see. I bought two copies. I first saw this imax film at the Museum of Science in Boston. If you love Ancient Greece or you are thinking of going to Greece, I highly recommending purchase this video first. It starts off in Santorini, the island believed to have been the site of Ancient Atlantis. Great background music. And narrated by Nia Vardalos, star of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding".It is believed by many archeologists that Cycladic island of Santorini was the site of Ancient Atlantis. Back 3500 years ago, there was a gigantic volcanic eruption that created the magnificent caldera In Santorini. It was thought to created a huge sunami wiping out the entire MInoan civilization. Today , you can visit the ancient ruins of Akoteri, an underground city with building two stories tall , the first underground plumbing and large earthenware urns.
You will see how the Greeks contributed so much to the foundation of our civilization. They were seagoers. And the God of the Sea was Poseidon. The videos shows evidence of ancient civilization such as on the island of Delos. You will enjoy the findings of archeologists. In Santorini there is evidence of a bronze age city, Akoteri. Here is evidence of the lost city of Atlantis. Plato described Atlantis with gray, black and red rocks. As you sail into Santorini you will see evidence of what could very well have been Atlantis. Wall paintings have been found, displaying life in the Minoan civilization. You can see the lifestyles of these ancient peoples.The video continues with the amazing evidence of this magnificent ancient civilization.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As a fan of Greece I absolutely loved this. The first half includes beautiful aerial shots of Santorini, while the second half focuses on Athens. This latter part includes what is claimed to be the most expensive Imax shot ever filmed, a glorious computer reconstruction of what the Parthenon looked like in the fullness of its splendor.

Weaving throughout all this beauty are two bonus themes. One is a historical narrative detailing the Santorini eruption (another great computer simulation) and telling how the financial excesses of the Parthenon led to the downfall of what was at the time the greatest nation on earth, Greece. The other is a collection of original Greek songs written especially for this movie. One song in particular is reminiscent of Andrea Bocelli's best work, although this is all Greek lyrics and music.

I watched this twice back to back, then put the bonus video-and-music track on repeat. I can't get enough! Worth way more than I paid for it!
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