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NOVA: Pocahontas Revealed

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

On the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, science is revealing the truth behind the myth of John Smith, Chief Powhatan and his daughter and Pocahontas. Virginia archaeologists have recently discovered the site of Chief Powhatans capital, Werowocomoco, some 17 miles from Jamestown beside the York River. Follow the investigation by NOVA of the site as archeologists for the first time reveal the Native American side of the Jamestown story.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: .
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: October 2, 2007
  • Run Time: 56 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PWQPBQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,634 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. S. Kaminski on December 23, 2007
I found this program to be a little disappointing, as it was less about Pocahontas and more about the interaction between the English settlers and the Native Americans at the Jamestown colony. And while Pocahontas was certainly part of that, the producers of this program spent as much time, or even more time, on details not involving her. As such, the title "Pocahontas Revealed" is a tad misleading.

The material that is covered is interesting and worth watching, however. Topics discussed are: why the colonists came to Virginia, the location of the fort, the initial contact between the settlers and the Native Americans, and more. As for Pocahontas, her role in the Jamestown story is told, and her relationship with John Smith is examined, including the question of a romance between them. Probably the most interesting part of the entire program was at the conclusion, when Pocahontas relocated to England and ran into John Smith years after they had parted ways; that part of their "story" is probably the least known.

Overall I gave it three stars. What you don't get is a biography of Pocahontas; what you do get is an in-depth look at the clash of two cultures in the early part of the 17th century.
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From movies and books, every American knows the story of the Indian princess Pocahontas saving the life of Captain John Smith. The many versions and interpretations of the story, many romantic, were actually wrung out of just a few sentences in a few documents, mainly from John Smith's own account written 17 years later.

"Pocahontas Revealed" introduces more information - from other colonial accounts, from Spanish intelligence reports, from John Smith's hand-drawn map of his captivity, and from our modern knowledge of the Indian federation led by Pocahontas's father, Powhatan. The documentary showcases more knowledge coming into view from the archaeological digs at Jamestown and the site of Powhatan's headquarters at Werowocomoco.

The location of the paramount chief's village was lost to history for many years, but it was discovered two decades ago, and excavations have begun in Gloucester County, Virginia. Close examination of soils revealed the sites of buildings and Powhatan's longhouse, and chemical analysis showed that fragments of copper on the site had originally been mined in England. Some computer-generated effects help the viewer better envision the Indian village where Smith and Pocahontas met.

One of the documentary's strong points is that modern insights from intercultural communication and the history of cultural encounters are applied to the short sentences in Smith's account. When individuals from different cultures meet, it's often the case that what is perceived is not what was communicated. Smith interpreted Pocahontas as rescuing him from a cruel fate. The documentary relates a different (though still contested) explanation: she was playing an assigned role in an adoption ritual. If this seems doubtful, watch "Pocahontas Revealed"!

This documentary does more than inform. It entertains as it reveals new knowledge and answers old questions.

-30-
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I find the title interesting to learn of Pocahontas, the native American girl who risked her head to spare the one of John Smith, the British settler. The eye-sight of Pocahontas on Smith sparked a romance. The inter-marriage between European lords certainly worked anywhere to strengthen powerful alliance. America would have been different if it were developed that way.

Smith after a gun-powder accident went back to English.Rumored that Smith died, the settlers in Jamestown lied to Pocahontas who married and had a son and went to England. She even was a model to advertise and promote business to Virginia. She was heart-broken when Smith visited her. She died months later.

It was a romantic legend for over four centuries. Will we have a different outcome if English settlers formed an alliance with native Americans? This documentary traces the site and brings back a chapter in history.
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great documentary
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Verified Purchase
This DVD told me things that they did not teach me in school. It was very interesting.
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