Roots

Roots

DVD - 2007
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An adaptation of Alex Haley's Roots, in which he traces his family's history from the mid-18th century when one of his ancestors was captured and sold into slavery. Follows the struggle for freedom that began with the boys' abduction to America and continues throughout the generations that follow.

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Roots Revisited

One of my greatest and lasting history lessons wasn't in an American History class, but in front of an old Magnavox console television. as my family and I, along with millions of other Americans, watched the much anticipated miniseries Roots.  A story so compelling and gripping, in the the nearly forty years since its airing, in January 1977, I have yet to watch a rerun.  Based on book by … (more)


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Janice21383
Sep 03, 2017

Given there is now a remake, how does the original hold up? Well first, both are working from a fictional story. It seems that Alex Haley made up most of the events, and even the Gambian storytellers he worked with were telling him what he wanted to hear (see article at the end of this post). The 1977 version looks like what it is, a TV movie, especially in its cartoonish African scenes. The 2016 version feels more realistic, if only because of its bigger budget. Unfortunately, the writers add even more fiction, and involve a Kinte-Haley family member in all the famous events of their times. The 1977 version is more low key and probable. Overall, I would give a slight edge to the original version, because of the power of the Kunta Kinte in the U.S. and Kizzy sections, but which one you prefer may depend on your liking for multi-generational family sagas. https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2017/feb/09/alex-haley-roots-reputation-authenticity

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.

o
organic69
Dec 17, 2015

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

t
TRANNY_CLONES
Dec 10, 2014

Despite how powerful this mini-series really is about historical slavery,it is not going to stop the DEEPLY RACIST police brutality that blacks in real life are real victims of in 2014 and beyond period.If blacks in real life REPENT and turn from their WICKED WAYS,then the modern day slavery they are clearly going through in real life in 2014 and beyond will go away period,BUT I DIGRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

n
NorahHoltby
May 19, 2013

I remember this being a big deal when I was a kid. The special features do provide context in terms of how huge an event the broadcast was.The make-up and the score seem dated and the final scene is over the top but it's still a decent family saga that still stands the test of time.

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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