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Secrets of the Dead: Lost in the Amazon

3.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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(May 31, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

SECRETS OF THE DEAD unravels the truth of what happened to famed adventurer Col. Percy Fawcett who went looking for the Lost City of Z in the Amazon in 1925 and disappeared in the jungles of Brazil. It also shares surprising finds that are causing experts to re-think the image of a pristine uninhabited Amazon rainforest a place that before Columbus may have had large populations living in sophisticated towns and cities.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: .
  • Directors: Peter Von Puttkamer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, 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: May 31, 2011
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004NJC0OI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,986 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steve Kuehl VINE VOICE on January 15, 2012
Verified Purchase
No argument needed to support the quality of work as a whole that PBS puts out, especially with this underrated series Secrets of the Dead...no box set links are available but here are a couple others that are forgotten about almost entirely Secrets of the Dead - Herculaneum Uncovered & Mumbai Massacre. These films are poorly distributed and get little press, so don't let the fact that this latest one gets no fanfare be your reason to skip it. In fact the only reason I got the film was a copy had been quietly displayed at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco this month.

The production is standard in the mix of present day talking heads and lens-filtered re-enactments telling the story of how Col. Percy Fawcett disappeared in the Amazon some 85 years ago looking for a fabled city. The information is crammed together in too little time (runs 60 minutes) and there are definitely moments where I wish they had been more articulate with the locations being shown. For example, the main adventurer guy kept using printed Google Earth maps and showing the people he encountered in the film, but never to the viewer (and unfortunately I failed at being able to pause a quality image and figure out where they really were on my own computer).

The information presented is intriguing, though I could go for less of the cheesy re-enacting on the speculations of how they died to fir more research material into the time slot, but it was worth the watch and I feel like I learned some good history.
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After reading the book "Lost World of Z," I was very anxious to see this documentary about the characters and the remaining family members. My son had already viewed this and knew I would want to see it. I very much enjoyed it, but would have loved for it to have gone into more detail. Read the book first then watch this DVD. I highly recommend it.
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This impressive documentary investigates the disappearance of legendary explorer Percy Fawcett, who apparently died in 1925 in the Amazon jungle while searching for the lost city of `Z'. His disappearance has long been the subject of speculation and has spawned numerous expeditions in an attempt to uncover his fate.

Fawcett was an experienced explorer and believed the many legends about gleaming cities in the Amazon. On this trip he took his 22-year old son and his son's best friend. However, the younger men were ill-prepared for the trip and this expedition was underfunded.

In the documentary modern-day outdoorsman Niall McCann examines Fawcett's personal records from the trip, which were sent back to civilization by runners accompanying the journey. However, the team eventually ventured too deep into the jungle to entice any more runners, and Fawcett was never heard from again.

Much of the jungle that Fawcett trekked through has since been cut-down. However, this investigative team finds what they believe was his final encampment location (still forested) using Google earth and modern GPS equipment. The documentary covers some possible explanations for their fates.

I enjoyed the documentary and Niall McCann's explanations as they went along. However, I felt the material was spread too thin trying to cover every possible aspect of the event. So nothing was examined too deeply. I recommend Secrets of the Dead: Lost in the Amazon but was left wanting more.
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