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BMZ Review: Greece: Secrets of the Past
By Ann Coates


©MacGillivray Freeman Films

Greece: Secrets of the Past
Written by: Ann Coates
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: April 17, 2006


Category: Reviews

MacGillivray Freeman Films' latest offering, Greece: Secrets of the Past, examines this beautiful and historically rich country through the Large Format medium.  A vet to the LF industry, Director/Producer Greg MacGillivray (Everest, Dolphins) once again provides viewers with a pleasant and delightfully-shot film on the birthplace of democracy.

The film mainly focuses on two Greek locales, the island of Santorini, and the city of Athens, the center of Golden Age Greece.  The former was a thriving Bronze Age civilization only to be devastated by the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history.  Santorini is also believed to be the location of the legendary city of Atlantis which, as described by Plato, was swallowed by the sea in a day and night.  But rather than chasing the Atlantis myth, the film devotes its time to a more scientific study of Santorini and the volcano that destroyed it.  We follow archaeologists, Christos Doumas and Georges Vougioukalakis, as they attempt to understand the eruption and its effects.  Sweeping imagery of the Greek Isles saturate the film with wonderful peeks into modern-day Santorini and its gorgeous terraced housing.

Greece moves on from Bronze Age civilization to its Golden Age, and the hub of this ancient time, Athens. Using digital technology, the film reconstructs the Parthenon in a moving step-by-step recreation of both exterior and interior.  The sequence culminates inside the Parthenon as we get a glimpse of the original 40-ft. statue of Athena made from gold and ivory.  Taking two years to produce this one sequence, it could only have occurred through the advancement of digital technology and quality, and it was definitely worth the wait.

Narrated by Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), an apropos white and blue color palette permeates the film.  Greece acts not just as a history lesson; it is a beautifully-shot and exuberant exploration of the importance of this ancient civilization which still holds relevance today.

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