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Category:    Home > Reviews > Special Interest > Geography > Travel > Documentary > Religion > Visions Of Israel (2008/Acorn DVD)

Visions Of Israel (2008/Acorn DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Documentary: B



Narrated by Itzhak Perlman, Visions Of Israel is the latest solid installment of what has turned out to be the best documentary/travelogue series in years.  With so much history, so many legendary structures, lively new cities like Tel Aviv and religious sites shared by the big three Semite religions of the world, it is an engrossing 78 minutes of a place you may hear about in the news all the time, but never see enough of and in too many cases, have not visited.


On top of holy sites like the Western Wall and Masada, plus the new structures that have brought the country into the 21st Century, we get to see the tourism and then go further out to see the legendary Dead Sea.  Those expecting only stories and images that involve Judaism will be surprised at how key and worldly things really are there and why this should be shown all the more.  As much as New York City or Dubai, Tel Aviv is as technically advanced and thriving as any great city in the world, but all you see on the news are military checkpoints and that sells Israel short.


But once again, the Visions series successfully shows a locale in its greatest dimension and depth.  Yes, there are some installments that I wanted more and maybe something different from, but Visions Of Israel is as well-rounded as any of them and is yet another chapter in a growing series I hope goes on for years to come.



The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image was shot in High Definition video and like all the volumes in this series, there are some truly beautiful shots throughout the main program and extras, but it is likely 1080i cameras at work and you get some motion blur and detail limits in the tradedown here.  I would like to see this on Blu-ray to compare.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is also good and well recorded, down to the Perlman narration and the addition of music is never overbearing.  Extras include about a half-hour of extra footage that could have been in the main feature, but all the programs have done this.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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