>> In Their Own Words (2012)

Show: In Their Own Words

Genre: Educational, Other

Studio: Acorn Media

Runtime: 351 minutes

Release Date: March 13, 2012

Format: DVD

Discs: 2

Rating: 4.35 (out of 4.00)

Grade: A+

Official Site

Bonus Features:

16-page viewer's guide, biographies, more at athenalearning.com

In Their Own Words is a collection of interviews conducted by the BBC in which famous authors talk about their collective works, their novels are put in contrast with the times, and the times in contrast with the way in which these wordsmiths helped shape opinions and open doors of thought which were building blocks in creating social change. Segments range from the musings of Sigmund Freud on humanity to the Existentialism of the Marxist poets and freedom fighters. As we move along between each author we see the world as it is and how it helped to shape the minds of some of the most influential thinkers of their time to the rebellion of authors who see their world as a cold and abstract place that, through the power of wordplay, create allegories to define their time and place and expose the frailties the state of their society was in at the time. Accompanied by great music and archive footage, sometimes the only type of its kind for some authors, In Their Own Words delivers a clear and poignant picture of literature through our history and its effect on who we are today.

If your familiar with Athena’s documentary releases you’ll know that the picture quality ranges from excellent to, well, archive, but I don’t think I’ve seen one of their documentary releases that felt so complete and informative on such a universal scale. I’ve read quite a few novels that are mentioned, mostly because they were suggested reading, but half the time I was never so connected with their place in the world then I was when I watched this program. Your given so much information from news clips, television interviews, close friends, and a good tie in with the turmoil of the world around the time each respective author’s works premiered. Tying together changes and formations in government, society, or even the every day things we do in life you get the broad perspective that will make you want to rush to your local library and or grab a cinematic version of said works to analyze and find profound with a new way of thinking that is ironically paramount in the exact same way the program describes itself. Simply a program that must be seen from school children and up. Well done.


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