BBC Atlas of the Natural World - Western Hemisphere and Anarctica (Land of the Eagle / Spirits of the Jaguar / Wild South America / Life in the Freezer)

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SKU 794051272621
Height 4.00
Width 6.00
Depth 8.00
BBC Atlas of the Natural World: Western Hemisphere &
Antarctica (DVD)The first release in BBC Video's ambitious Atlas of the
Natural World series presents an in-depth look at the Western Hemisphere and
Antarctica. This six-disc set brings together four landmark BBC series that
combine to give one of the most comprehensive portraits of the Americas and
Antarctica ever assembled. In over 18 hours of programming viewers will
explore the vast richness of the land, wildlife and peoples of North America
(Land of the Eagle), Central America (Spirits of the Jaguar) South America
(Wild South America) and Antarctica (Life in the Freezer).]]> This
staggeringly beautiful collection of four BBC series about the natural (and
often social) history of the Americas and Antarctica is something to behold.
Rich in endless detail yet satisfying as an integrated vision of continental
eco-systems, BBC Atlas of the Natural World makes our planet look like a
miraculous place indeed, with an astonishing diversity of wildlife and
habitats. The story of human migration across Western lands figures into
several of this box set's 18 hours of viewing, providing a subjective view of
the environments which people explored and settled over many thousands of
years. Central America is the subject of the four-part "Spirits of the
Jaguar," which begins with Mayan creation myths about a battle between gods
leading to the formation of the Earth. In fact, islands of the Caribbean were
forged by volcanoes 150 million years ago, with plant and animal life
following some 70 million years later. Typical of BBC Atlas of the Natural
World is the extraordinary photography in this program: frogs and insects
suddenly caught in flowing tree sap, crocodiles leaping to pull prey from
trees. The story of the Mayansfarmers, astronomers, inventorsmoving from the
deserts of Mexico down to the jungles of Central America, their lives
sustained by slash-and-burn agriculture and good nutrition, is told. So is the
tale of the lost civilization of the Aztecs, wanderers for ten generations,
viewing themselves as a chosen people, extinguishers of other peoples in
Mexico and ultimately destroyed themselves by Spanish conquistadors. "Land of
the Eagle" is a four-part, eye-opening history of North Americas transition
from home to 10.000 years of native peoples to carved-up European territories
eventually devoid of many natural wonders (including buffalo and massive
forests). This melancholy story of paradise exploited is offset by remarkable
cinematography of wolves, grizzlies, snakes, beavers and birds, while "Wild
South America," with its own quartet of episodes, is equally dazzling in its
nature photography. South America looks like a magical place of dramatic
beauty in this series, a continent once joined to Australia (the two lands
share an abundance of marsupials) and home to the world's largest mountain
chain and a river (the Amazon) that carries one-fifth of Earth's water. The
incredible sights of the Andes and Patagonia (the latter so near Antarctica)
are almost indescribable. Speaking of the bottom of the world, "Life In the
Freezer," in six epsiodes, is one of the BBC's most splendid productions, a
tour of Antarctica hosted by Davd Attenborough that is far more compelling
than March of the Penguins. --Tom Keogh