Roots

Roots

DVD - 2011
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An adaptation of Alex Haley's "Roots", in which Haley traces his African American family's history from the mid-18th century to the Reconstruction era.
Publisher: Burbank, CA : Warner Brothers Entertainment, c2011
Edition: 30th anniversary ed. standard version
ISBN: 9780780667167
0780667166
Branch Call Number: DVD 791.4572 ROOTS
Characteristics: 7 videodiscs (573 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

Opinion

From Library Staff

One of the most famous of all TV miniseries. The 1977 Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding: Miniseries, Lead Actor-Louis Gossett Jr., Supporting Actor-Ed Asner, Supporting Actress-Olivia Cole, Directing, Writing, Film Editing, Music Composition, Sound Editing.


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10derly
Aug 23, 2019

Understandably with its origins embedded in the soil of the 1970s, this miniseries holds up uncommonly well still. Like all of them of its period, the first chapter was always hailed as the best, which was commonly not true, as here, just a simple backstory. The final chapters also logically received large Nielsens, but were often - also as here - simply a redundancy of repeating where they'd all come since the first chapter. The best here are the few chapters following the first, with latter entries decreasing in interest. Also a product of its times, most of the white slave holders are portrayed as monstrous storybook antagonists, losing a bit of their tangibility. With that said, Chuck Connors, cast completely against type, having portrayed the hero throughout his years on TV, steals his role and others, like Louis Gossett Jr and Madge Sinclair really shine. It humors me to say this, but so does Lorne Greene. LeVar Burton, here in his debut as the story's primary historical figure, Kunta Kinte, is also quite good. I haven't seen the remake, so I have nothing with to compare, but from what I've read, it's a bit by the numbers, although it may feel a bit more real considering contemporary budgeting and dramatic style changes over the years.

b
BBRUTTIG
Jul 08, 2019

This is the original 1977 version. A good TV series.. feels at times, filmed more like a series from the Daniel Boone TV era series but it does have very strong projection of what occurred with slaves over multi-generations. The music, at times, is WAY OFF in presenting an almost adventurous, fun melody at times during horrible slave activities, orders and menial working conditions. But it was 1977 made-for-tv special. A TV version that is PG.. AMISTAD movie by Speilberg is also an option.

l
lukasevansherman
Jan 19, 2017

There is a remake, but this is the original 1977 miniseries. "Roots" was an event and I think is still one of the most watched series ever. Based on Alex Haley's book, in which he traces his ancestry back to Africa, "Roots" was one of the first major pop culture sagas that dealt directly and unflinchingly with slavery. Given the limitations of television, it's a pretty remarkable achievement. I thought it would be a little corny and dated, but it remains powerful, sweeping, and, ultimately, moving. Coming it at around 9 hours (spread out over 6 DVDs, it's an investment, but it's worth it. They assembled an impressive cast of white and black actors and it's a little shocking to see TV icons like Lorne Greene ("Battlestar Galactica"), Robert Reed ("The Brady Bunch"), and Chuck Connors ("The Rifleman") playing racists and slave-owners. The best-know part of the story, which focuses on tribesman Kunta Kenta (Levar Burton) and his capture, is only a small part of this multi-generational tale. I think for a lot of Americans, this series (and the book, which generated some controversy for its perceived inaccuracies) really brought the horrors of slavery and racism home. Followed by a far less successful sequel.

g
grammaE
Dec 17, 2015

Excellent series. I need to watch it again...

a
akirakato
Aug 10, 2012

This movie made me think about slavery and war. Slavery had been existing since propably before the pre-history and it has been famously abolished by Abraham Lincoln. But the balck and the white had been segregated in the States until well into 1950s. Today, however, slavery and segregation has completely and publicly disappeared at last.
Come to think of war, it has been on and off since the pre-history and we still see one or two wars or arms conflicts somewhere on the earth.
Slavery has been ablished, but war has not.
Why is that?
Probably because people who made money by slave-trade have switched from slave-trading into arms dealers or arms-makers, who have in the background teamed up with governments to ignite wars so that they remain wealthy. A good example is the collaboration between the US Government (or the American Establishment) and the giant firms such as Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and Halliburton. Some people call it the "military-industrial complex."

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