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'Roots: The Complete Original Series, 40th Ann.'
(Olivia Cole, Robert Reed, John Amos, Madge Sinclair, Ben Vereen, Louis Gossett Jr., Vic Morrow, et al / 3-Disc Blu-ray / NR / 2016 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: 'Roots' is a dramatization of author Alex Haley's family line from ancestor Kunta Kinte's enslavement to his descendants' liberation.

Blu-ray Verdict: 'Roots' is, at its heart, a saga of African-American life, based on Alex Haley's family history. Kunta Kinte is abducted from his African village, sold into slavery, and taken to America. He makes several escape attempts until he is finally caught and maimed. He marries Bell, his plantation's cook, and they have a daughter, Kizzy, who is eventually sold away from them.

Kizzy has a son by her new master, and the boy grows up to become Chicken George, a legendary cock fighter who leads his family into freedom. Throughout the series, the family observes notable events in U.S. history, such as the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, slave uprisings, and emancipation.

In my humble opinion, 'Roots' (1977) is still the best mini-series that has ever aired. This highly watched drama set the bar for all of the epic television dramas. The series follows the life of Kunta Kinte and his descendants from the coasts of West Africa to the plantation fields of the American south.

This show pulls no punches when dealing with the sad truths about how many slaves were shipped from their homelands and (if they survived the horrific overseas trip) forced to work in the fields. Even though Kunta was a slave, he never lost hope about one day his ancestors would once again have the freedom he once had. He also vowed that his ancestors would never forget their roots, old ways and customs.

Kunta always tried to head for freedom whenever the chance came. Even when the slave catchers cut off a piece of his foot, that never deterred him from running. But his marriage and child kept him from running when he had the opportunity. He named his only daughter Kizzy (Mandinka for staying put). Years later, Kizzy is sold to Tom Moore who uses his slaves not only for workers but for "comfort women: as well. She has a mixed child named Chicken George who like his grandfather also dreams about freedom and does whatever he can to make sure that he's a free man.

Simply put, 'Roots' is an awesome mini-series and it still holds up well today. Indeed, there is a new version of 'Roots' about to come out here in 2016, and although I have yet to see one second of it, I'm sure it will still pale in comparison to this giant of TV. In closing, the story and acting is top notch and it's definitely a heart string puller.

This brilliant 'Roots: The Complete Original Series, 40th Anniversary' Blu-ray + Digital HD is the original 8-part mini-series with new bonus material and digital copies. Digitally remastered in visually stunning 1080p High Definition (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs it also comes with the Special Features of:

Roots: The American Story Continues (New Featurette) - Whoopi Goldberg, James Earl Jones, Blair Underwood, Debbie Allen, Tavis Smiley, Shonda Rhimes and Reverend Al Sharpton reveal how Roots impacted their lives and the thinking of the world. Dr. Rex Ellis of the Smithsonian Institution shares with us how the story chronicled by Alex Haley in Roots lives on in Washington's new Museum of African American History and Culture; and Christopher Haley recalls his uncle Alex, whose legacy he continues as a slavery historian.
Roots: The Cast Looks Back (New Featurette) - Original cast members LeVar Burton, John Amos, Louis Gossett Jr., Ben Vereen, Cicely Tyson, Ed Asner, Sandy Duncan, Georg Stanford Brown and Lynne Moody share emotional stories about the 1976 filming of Roots. They also discuss how making the miniseries changed their lives, why it endures, and why for some it remains their greatest artistic experience.
Crossing Over: How Roots Captivated an Entire Nation (Featurette)
Connecting With the Past (Featurette)
The Struggle to Make Roots (Featurette)
LeVar Burton: Original Screen Test
Alex Haley Interview by David Frost (Featurette)
Roots: One Year Later (Featurette)
Plus a beautiful 32-Page Book!

www.WarnerVideo.com





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