A thousand years in 10 hours is an ambitious project, to say the least. But the team at CNN succeeds with its now-typical aplomb, as the team that brought us Cold War shares with us Millennium. "We know the history of our own country," narrator Ben Kingsley intones. But this series purports to give us "history from a global perspective, not through the eyes of the West." Using reenactments and impressive computer graphics--used with inspiration for everything from rebuilding the 11th-century Pueblo Bonito to representing Freud's idea of the subconscious--the history of the world for the past 1,000 years is re-created. Each episode covers 100 years, from the 11th century's "Century of the Sword" to the 16th century's "Century of the Compass" to the final 100 years of the millennium in "Century of the Globe." Segmented by time and place, Millennium focuses on five topics in five separate locations in each episode. The wealth of topics is mind-boggling: the spread of Islam, Mongol conquests, the rise of Gothic spires across Europe, Australian Aborigines, the trail of Marco Polo, Black Death, Chinese naval power, the Ottoman Empire, the religious conversion of the Mayans, the Mogul Dynasty, science, slave trade, the Industrial Revolution, to name just a fraction of the stories told. Granted, given the constraints of covering 1,000 years in a mere 10 hours, the video may leave you longing for more, but what a way to whet your appetite for history. --Jenny Brown
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