EDUCATIONAL
VIDEOS
Life
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Baraka (1994) VHS
Shot in 24 countries and at all sorts of locations (ancient temples, Auschwitz, a chicken processing plant), the film attempts to make a subconscious or poetic point about the relationship between living creatures (particularly humans) and their environments. It's a breathtaking, Herculean effort, but it is also opaque in meaning and probably best appreciated by viewers already in an incoherent state. Worse, the film loses much of its intended magic on video. The scenes from around the world are captured with such honesty and put together with music to match. A masterpiece that will be hard to beat. 
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Eyewitness Video: Life (1997) 
What is life? In an effort to answer this question, the simple, kid-friendly graphics move the narrative quickly along from the first stirrings in the primordial soup through reproduction, natural selection, and the eventual inevitability of death. Complicated concepts such as hereditary genetics and how DNA is structured are explained using clever, eye-catching graphics in a way that even an 8-year-old should have no trouble understanding.
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Eyewitness Video: Sight (1997) 
Another excellent video in the Eyewitness series, this one focuses on the mechanics of sight. The fast-paced and stylized direction lends itself especially well to this topic. Packed in this brief video is an impressive amount of information about sight, such as the fact that iris is the Latin word for "rainbow" and that ancient Egyptians wore their famous black eyeliner to protect their eyes from the harsh desert sun. 
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Trials of Life Collection 
This is a great collection. The photography is stunning, Attenborough is an exciting narrator, and the series ties together as a great introduction to biology, natural history, evolution and behavior (to name a few). If you want to have an analytical-critical perspective on the different aspects of 'trials of life' more than a descriptive story-telling, this is simply the best on offer. 
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Survival Basics (1998) 
It is much easer to watch a survival tecnique being done then it is to read about it and look at line drawnings. This video shows many, very important survival tips. Most important of these are choice of shelter, starting a fire, purifying water, and putting together your own basic survival kits that are compact and easy to carry. Very well done as well as fun to watch.
Survival Basics 2 (1998) 
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