Written by Tom Pollock
Directed by Shaun Trevisick
Narrated by Morgan Freeman
- Behind the scenes featurette
Released by: Sony Home Video.
My Advice: Catch it on cable.
The Book of Exodus in the Bible, or what we in this secular age know as “That thing they made into The Ten Commandments,” covers Moses battling the Pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery and out of Egypt. You have the burning bush, the parting of the Red Sea, and the ten plagues that culminate in the death of every first born son in the kingdom, including the Pharaoh’s heir. Biblical scholars and Egyptologists have always held that the “Pharaoh” in Exodus was Rameses II, one of the most powerful and long lived rulers of the Nile. Recently, a massive tomb structure was found and a skull was found that might be from Amun-her-khepeshef, Rameses’ first born. However, the skull has a big crack in it that could be made by a weapon. Did God go around to every first born of Egypt and hit them upside the head? Or was a more corporeal agency involved? Just how much of Exodus actually happen? Find out the answers to these questions and more in Rameses: Wrath of God or Man?
[ad#longpost]History is never the constant we think is it. Present attitudes shape how we see the past. And it takes so little to change how we interpret those part events. One human skull can change history into myth. This new look at ancient history is quite interesting. For example, there is credible evidence that nine of the Ten Plagues did take places, but were more due to ecological disruption than divine intervention. It also shows that Rameses, like current world leaders, had no problems with spinning events to bolster his own reputation.
The content suffers from the conventional format. The documentary follows the standard Discovery Channel formula: scenes of historical reenactments where none of the actors talk, a famous narrator describing everything with urgency, talking heads also describing everything with urgency, and obligatory CGI of the scientific techniques used a la CSI, and staged scenes of the scientists working in the field. If you watch any of the group of Discovery Channels, you know what I’m talking about. One technique used that may have escaped the audience is the narrator constantly pushing the big mystery to keep your interest. You know saying stuff like “Will we discover how the skull ended up with a big hole in it?” especially just before a commercial break. But with DVD and no commercials, this becomes quite noticeable and quite annoying. Hopefully, the Discovery Channel will come up with a more interesting format soon.
The only featurette is supposedly a behind the scenes look at the documentary. But it’s really just a rehash of the stuff covered in the show. All it shows is how much padding this documentary has in it. So your best bet is to catch Rameses: Wrath of God or Man? on cable because the DVD isn’t worth it.