Civilisation

Civilisation

1969, History  -    -  Playlist 46 Comments
7.51
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Ratings: 7.51/10 from 41 users.

CivilisationIn 1966 BBC Television embarked on its most ambitious documentary series to date.

The eminent art historian Lord Clark was commissioned to write and present an epic examination of Western European culture, defining what he considered to be the crucial phases of its development.

Civilisation: A Personal View by Lord Clark would be more than two years in the making, with filming in over 100 locations across 13 countries. The lavish series was hailed as a masterpiece when it was first transmitted in 1969.

From the fall of the Roman Empire to the Industrial Revolution and beyond, Clark's compelling narrative is accompanied by breathtaking color photography of Europe's greatest landmarks.

This 'history of ideas as illustrated by art and music' remains the benchmark for the numerous programmes it inspired.

Civilisation was one of the first United Kingdom television documentary series made in color, commissioned during David Attenborough's controllership of BBC2.

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William
William
10 years ago

@facebook-100002397446885:disqus Oh dear, another bell-end! Just because someone with a vast knowledge of history and culture has been conferred a title under the English/British parliamentarian system, you decide that this fascinating documentary is not for you. So you won't even watch it - good man, that's what we call constructive criticism. Um, perhaps the problem is that you have really already decided that culture is not for you - fine, but please don't make excuses. I'm sure there's a good game of footy to be watched somewhere! Don't let culture stop you.

kiran bhanushali
kiran bhanushali
10 years ago

Bookmarking for later.

Stephen Carey
Stephen Carey
11 years ago

Watching this changed my life; thank you Kenneth Clark. I hope others enjoy it as much as I did.

Chaz Ed
Chaz Ed
12 years ago

@ Lord Newfield! What a pom-pas know it all!

Chaz Ed
Chaz Ed
12 years ago

Lord? That alone and the previous comments will keep me from watching this doc! Lord of what? I know it's an old school term for some semblance of respect! Whatever! I would think by now they would have done away with the term! I was once addressed as Master as a lad! Was that meant to give me ups? I didn't see myself as a master of anything but my toys then! Stop living in the past and look to the future! Lord help us!

Paul Creasy
Paul Creasy
12 years ago

One of the best documentaries every made. Highly recommended.

Si Belsi
Si Belsi
12 years ago

something missing in the title..it should be civilisation from the English's point of view
a doc made with the free association method ..neither chronological nor wholistic..on the 30th minute yawning and leaving

Misa Amane
Misa Amane
12 years ago

Ugh, it was narrated by the Nazi news correspondent. Not even worth a watch.

spectator
spectator
13 years ago

egyptians,greeks,romans,spanish,english n americans all thrived materially on the labours of slaves. ughhh.still they call it a "civilization'..the words shame has no meaning for these barbarians... man made mountains made to serve no purpose..gow they feel proud to associate themselves with these worthless stones... some day man will be civilized still a long way to go...

Lary Nine
Lary Nine
13 years ago

@Joseph de M~ "The whole documentary is simply a series of value judgments glued together by snippets of facts and delivered by what is now no longer credible –"

I've assumed that's what 'history' is, more often than not. It's always being revised by human beings--- those darned subjective primates!

Whatitis
Whatitis
13 years ago

To add - its a pretty good doc overall, just keep in mind it was made in the sixties and dude was old then so he might have a little incidental old man, old man racism.

Whatitis
Whatitis
13 years ago

I agree with waldo in the sense that the dude is kind of pompous and makes several sweeping generalizations and unnecessary value judgments.

wayne
wayne
13 years ago

This was one of them documentary that help shape and mold them in to what we know to day I thank Lord Clark for that. The real person to thank is David Attenborough who continues to make some of the best doc I have ever seen. There is not one by him I did not like. Lastly we still don't know where the first civilization was and may never be known. We have not found it yet and who know when we will but when we do it will not shock or surprise me if it some place no one ever thought it would be. We learn more each year and I think we are at a point where we now know that each civilization had a sister one that it traded with which help build wealth and power. Stepping stone to civilization agriculture, mastering one environment, trade, and religion are the few thing they all seem to have in common. We should pay tribute to what each one has done instead of fight over who was 1st or better. Lets keep searching for to look at are past can teach us about the future for with out knowing the mistakes of history we are doomed to keep repeating them

Desdemone
Desdemone
13 years ago

@HHV
I've commented before about the narration, and it's not the accent that bothered me. One can narrate with any sort of accent natural to one's upbringing, it's the dramatic reading overdone in a monotoned passion that drove me off. I would LOVE to finish the whole documentary - the information is valuable to me - if I wasn't so tired down by it. I literally had to take a break and listen to something more soothing to the ear after an hour. I TRIED to come back to it, but then decided there must be other history docu's out there that won't hurt my ears. No offense to the producer of this film. But it's the same with any public speaking: pacing, tone, and attitude make or break a presentation, not just the eloquence of content.

HHV
HHV
13 years ago

All y'all chill. Lord Clark was one of the greatest art historians, evah. It *was* 1969, and he was the first person to admit this series didn't begin to cover the whole of history. But, for it's time and place, and the clearly "A Personal View", it's BRILLIANT. It stands the test of time as a critique, and I loved it. They're coming out with an HD version. His "patrician" accent is the accent of a proper educated British gentleman. Deal. What he SAYS with that accent is clearly worth hearing, and more than once. And, if you didn't spot Captain Picard in episode 6, shame on you!

Ron
Ron
13 years ago

A rather narrow definition of civilization, but typical for the time. That in of itself is interesting.

lee
lee
13 years ago

only trouble with this site is the comments...i come to watch a doc but i end up reading a book hehe :)

MFC
MFC
13 years ago

please people, try to see this documentary in context of it's time. this is obviously a view of the patrician elite that ruled britain, hence the bbc, at that time. it's an historical document per se and shows how much our perception of the world changed.

Vlatko
Vlatko
13 years ago

Yes right @M, @Zatarra it's 1966.

Zatarra
Zatarra
13 years ago

can we limit waldo to one comment per video pls, and im sure u ment 1966 and not 1996.

yapxingguan
yapxingguan
13 years ago

after watching togas in tv, i have this rather low view of lord clark :/

Joseph de Maistre
Joseph de Maistre
13 years ago

The BBC doing a documentary on Western Civilization, even in 1996!!! What a joke! It's like having Stalin write the history of the Third Reich ... for the Third Reich (which btw, is more or less what we have today on the 3rd Reich - but that’s another issue).

The whole documentary is simply a series of value judgments glued together by snippets of facts and delivered by what is now no longer credible - British, or, to be more specific, English, reasonableness and 'objectivity'. What is joke!

Waldo
Waldo
13 years ago

whoops, that was suppose to read "documentary's assertions."

Waldo
Waldo
13 years ago

In fact in light of the mistake I made, it is rather off of topic. If it were up to me I would remove it. Besides, I don't feel like having to explain over and over that I mistook the context of this documentaries assertions.

Waldo
Waldo
13 years ago

Excuse me, I suppose I took it the wrong way. It seemed to me he was saying that these happenings were the beginnings of civilization period, not only the beginnings of Western european civilization. The rest of my statement followed this mistake, if you think it is irrelevant erase it- by all means.

Shane
Shane
13 years ago

Ive not even watch this yet but Waldo, the first paragraph says....

The eminent art historian Lord Clark was commissioned to write and present an epic examination of Western European culture, defining what he considered to be the crucial phases of its development.

Its nothing to do with east versus west. The guy was asked specifically to examine Western Europe, nothing more.

M
M
13 years ago

uh ... i think it 1969 not 1996 ,,, Mate ;)

Waldo
Waldo
13 years ago

Kind of pompous and boring, if you ask me. Maybe its the narrators proper British accent, and the way he drones on and on never changing pitch or emphasizing any particular syllable or word. Besides, I think it must be rather offensive to those in the East to think of the West as the home of civilization. In reality the East is where the first settlements started taking on the trimmings and air of civilization. This guy says he can't really define civilization, which I agree with, but then he goes on to say that maybe it implies a sense of permanency found in the west. That's ridiculous there are cultures in the East far far older and thus more permanent than our western culture.

Don't get me wrong, I have harped over and over on this site about the misplaced hatred of those in the East toward everything Western. To me it's far past time for us to drop the old hate of East versus West or vica versa. But, it is documentaries like these that represent the supremist attitude of the West that help perpetuate that hate. Of course the recent actions of the US against Eastern nations certainly doesn't help either. I would argue that the self affirmation that goes along with the condemnation of the East made those wars much more likely. And that self affirmation is reinforced by documenatries such as this.