'Rise of the Black Pharaohs'
(DVD / NR / 2014 / PBS)
Overview: Around 800 BC, Kush, a little-known subject state of Egypt, rose up and conquered the Egyptians, enthroned its own Pharaohs, and ruled over the empire of King Tut for nearly 100 years. This unlikely chapter of history has been buried by the Egyptians and belittled by early archaeologists, who refused to believe that dark skinned Africans could have risen so high.
DVD Verdict: PBS most definitely provide a slew of riveting documentaries, for sure, but this one was very defining for me to behold. I never knew anything about what this documentary told, and I'm a fan of all-things 800 BC and onwards!
Indeed, I have just finished watching 'Rise of the Black Pharaohs' and the program was excellent, the camera work was breath-taking, and the history associated with the interactions of those people who settled in "Lower Egypt" (modern day Egypt) and those of "Nubia" (modern day Sudan) is beyond enthralling.
'Rise of the Black Pharaohs' provides a great look at the methodology applied by the archaeologists involved. The cultural aspects of the division between Egypt and Kush, views of the local people and their comments greatly complement the archaeology.
The commentary on the racial attitudes of scientists of the early 20th century who first got a glimpse of ancient Kush serves as a sad reminder of how compromised objective research can be when clouded by racial bias and anti-black sentiments.
One of the parts that I found most riveting was when both archeologists Geoff Emberling and Tim Kendall talk about bringing about the Black Pharaohs to life! In a royal tomb beneath an ancient Kush pyramid they are finding indisputable evidence of an advanced African society with powerful armies, vast reach, and spiritually-driven imperial aspirations that would have rivaled the Egyptians.
And finally, the skills displayed by those young women who scaled that rock face was magnificent; the camera work of their climb was beautifully done. Hold on to your seat as the camera looks downward from the summit! I highly recommend this. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.