The Oregon Trail
Special Edition, Collector's Edition
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Created by a four-time Emmy-winning filmmaker, "The Oregon Trail" chronicles the great mid-1800s trek across the unsettled American West. One in ten pioneers died along the way; many walked the entire 2,000 miles barefoot; but in the end nearly a half-million Americans followed the ruts west in search of a better life. Rare photos, diary excerpts, and stunning footage tell a fascinating story of tragedy and triumph.
This program received first-place awards from the Broadcast Education Association, the Oregon-California Trails Association, and the prestigious Telly Awards.
The film provides a comprehensive overview of the Oregon Trail, including: Lewis and Clark, the Astorians, the Whitmans, the Great Migration of 1843, reasons behind the journey, life on the trail, and encounters with Native Americans. Plus, the program includes background on all the key sites along the way: Ash Hollow, Chimney Rock, Scotts Bluffs, Ft. Laramie, Independence Rock, South Pass, Ft. Bridger, Ft. Hall, Three-Island Crossing, Whitman Mission, Ft. Vancouver, Oregon City, and many more. Two hours in length--divided into 4 half-hour segments.
"...an absorbing journey into American history." -- Library Journal
"...one doesn't just hear about the Oregon Trail, one actually makes the trip... highly recommended." -- Library Journal
..one doesn't just hear about the Oregon Trail, one actually makes the trip... highly recommended. -- Library Journal
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The documentary is divided into 4 half-hour episodes with dividable sections within each. I like that we can watch a section at a time and then stop and ask questions.
I also like that the film uses primary sources quite a bit by quoting newspapers and journals from those that made the journey. While it strives to present the story as unbiased I do feel that it comes up short in its treatment of the native americans views on westward expansion. It's fairly neutral but there's just not much there to work with for initiating a discussion.