Mankind: The Story Of All Of Us
Mankind: The Story of All of Us is an American documentary television series on History that premiered on November 13, 2012 in the US and the UK, and on November 14, 2012 in Asia. The broadcast is narrated by Josh Brolin in the United States, Stephen Fry in the UK, and Jack Thompson in Australia and New Zealand. Mediaset in Italy aired the program on Italia 1 on 12 July 2013. The Hollywood Reporter and The New York Times gave overall positive reviews to the series.
Mankind: The Story of All of Us
Mankind is the first television series in a generation to tackle the history of the human race through the ages. Embracing groundbreaking storytelling methods, it features jaw-dropping imagery and dramatic reconstructions of the most critical events in human history.
Josh Brolin - Narrator: [opening narration for each episode] Amidst the chaos of an unforgiving planet most species will fail. But for one, all the pieces will fall into place, and a set of keys will unlock a path for mankind to triumph. This is our story, the story of all of us.
To pull off yet another world history retread requires a rather fresh take, and what History gets right is shaping Mankind around not just the chronology of human development, but ideas and themes. In the first episode (in two parts), the series takes a look at early inventions that separated man from animals, before leading up to one of the biggest game-changers, the Iron Age.
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Mankind: The Story of All of Us tells how humans have evolved and survived over thousands of years. While climate has played a role in determining where people set up civilisations, people have developed tools and technology to overcome the obstacles that nature has presented. The story of human existence is complex, but it turns out all humans have a connection based on shared ancestry and the inner will to continue surviving.
As the human race defied all the odds and not only multiplied, but began to settle more and more of the Earth, conflict became inevitable. War is, of course, deadly and destructive, yet, in the greater scheme of history, it has resulted in significant developments. As Popular Mechanics Editor James Meigs puts it in "Mankind," "war drives technology."
Also on the negative side, disease became part of human history when man started living in close proximity to animals. It's interesting to note that our East African ancestors were about 2 inches taller than today's humans, but as man invented things to make his life more comfortable and longer, our height went down, as did the size of our brains, but our stomachs went in the opposite direction.
The series' historic recreations are convincing, for the most part, although at times, the History Channel can't help itself and falls back into some of it cheesier bad habits: I tend to doubt the mummy in the title sequence opening its eyes like Boris Karloff in a '30s monster movie is historically accurate, for example.
Parents need to know that Mankind, a documentary about the evolution and survival of the human species, uses special effects and dramatic reenactments to tell the often violent story. While offered in context, many of these often bloody scenes may be too intense for younger or sensitive viewers.
MANKIND: THE STORY OF ALL OF US is a dramatic documentary series that offers an in-depth look at the history and evolution of human civilization. Narrated by Josh Brolin, it features actor portrayals of historic events showing the various inventions, activities, and pursuits that have helped the human species survive over millions of years. With the help of various experts like celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, food critic Anthony Bourdain, historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and military experts like former Navy SEAL Richard "Mack" Machowicz, the series explains how harnessing natural elements like fire, increasing food production through farming, fashioning weapons from different materials, and creating painted and written communication systems, directly impacted the way early humans survived on the planet. It also shows how the combination of these activities led to mass migrations of people, the development of economic and trade systems, the building of empires, and the creation of social power structures that evolved into modern-day warfare. The emergence of religion, as well as the rise of disease and other human-ills, are also discussed.
History buffs will enjoy Mankind, but some folks might be put off by many of the violent reenactments featured here, even if they are being shown in context. Meanwhile, some of the scientific and sociological explanations about things like the original source of human DNA and the rise of religions may directly conflict with some viewers' personal belief systems. Nonetheless, it's a well-researched, and entertainingly dramatic discussion about humanity, and what we, as a species, have actively done over the centuries to survive.
Families can talk about the history of the human race. What do you believe are some of the most significant things the human species has invented and/or developed over the centuries? Are there things you wish humans had not invented? Why?
AMERICAs and the rise of modern society as we know it. Ground-breaking production techniques and CGI animation bring to life the greatest milestones and pivotal moments of human history by rebuilding lost worlds and creating large-scale re-enactments of critical events
The History Channel takes on an equally ambitious task: squeezing the story of the human race into 12 hours of television. Mankind the Story of All of Us airs six consecutive Tuesdays, beginning this week at 9 ET/PT.
"To boil this down, we needed a filter, and the filter we applied is, 'What were the key tipping points in history that impact who we are today?' " says Julian Hobbs, an executive producer for History, who estimates there are about 80 of these "essential turning points we share in common" in Mankind. Among them: harnessing fire, the Iron Age, the Bronze Age, explorations and the discoveries of certain minerals.
Mankind, produced by Nutopia, which also made the Emmy-winning America the Story of Us for History in 2010, starts with a quick nod to the Big Bang and, within minutes, arrives on the plains of east Africa about 150,000 years ago, where Homo sapiens first lived.
Ian Morris, who teaches world history at Stanford University and served as the series' historical consultant, says two points were particularly pivotal. "One is the origin of farming, which was about 10,000 years ago, and the other is the Industrial Revolution, just a couple of hundred years ago."
"What we liked is that there's a way to cross disciplines," says History programming executive Dirk Hoogstra. "We're using various sciences to help tell the bigger story. History becomes very exciting when you can make those unexpected connections and see their impact."
And because this is a global story, it was a global production, filming in such locales as South Africa, Morocco, China and the United Kingdom. Actors played some of the leading roles in the historical re-enactments, but many of the supporting roles were played by locals, adding yet another layer of authenticity.
Keeping with the series' global theme, Mankind will have a worldwide (although not simulcast) premiere in most countries this week, a first in the network's history. The company is located in 150 countries and has 250 million viewers worldwide, and Mankind is being given what Hoogstra calls a "custom fit," with some countries, including Germany and Israel, re-dubbing it with their own celebrity narrators.
And History is taking pointers from Hollywood's playbook. "Hollywood takes history all the time and turns it into big blockbuster movies," Hobbs says. "I think it's fair for us to take some of what Hollywood does well, in terms of scale and scope and emotion and the action-adventure kind of genres, and apply it to real history."
As the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers continues, realscreen spotlights the VFX and CGI wizardry in the recent factual mini-series Mankind: The Story of All of Us, which aired on History, and Alien Deep with Bob Ballard, which aired on National Geographic Channel.
In 2010, U.S. cable network History aired America: The Story of Us, a six-part, 12-hour miniseries produced by Nutopia that recounted 400 years of United States history. Millions tuned in, so two years later the network re-teamed with Nutopia to produce an even more ambitious follow-up: Mankind: The Story of All of Us, a six-part series that premiered on November 13.
Although Mr. Attenborough has a university degree in zoology from Cambridge, he doesn't consider himself an authority on the subject. ''What that book and series are really about,'' he explains, ''is not blindingly new thoughts on the history of the animal kingdom. It wasn't newness I was after. Of course, I have to be zoologically competent. . . . But in this instance what was really required was sombody who actually knew something about presenting animals on television. And for 10 years before I came to BBC in 1952, the major thing I did was make natural history films.''
Asked why he considers it important for people to know such things, he remarks: ''At the risk of sounding portentious, the whole history of mankind - the thing that makes human beings human - is a divine inquisitiveness. Mankind's curiosity about the world around him is a human characteristic. You see it in babies; you see it in primitive man; you see it in us. We all want to make sense of our surroundings. And this is what this book, this series, is all about.
But for now, the subject is the Country Reports. Again going back to my theme that the Reports are not simply criticism for criticism's sake. There are good-news stories among the pages. For example, one of the most outstanding, in my view, is the story of Peru, a country that began to get back on the democratic path this fall and that we hope succeeds. Similarly, on the African continent, Ghana with its elections at the end of the year is a good-news story. I hope you focus on all the aspects of the Report. 041b061a72