Presents an exploration of the first century after the Old World encountered the New World.

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"When Worlds Collide" chronicles the rise and fall of Spain's global empire from the reign of Isabel and Ferdinand through the reign of Philip II. This 90-minute documentary explores how the collision of the Old World and the New World completely transformed the nature of ethnicity and identity in the Americas. Written by KCET

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When Worlds Collide presents a groundbreaking portrayal of what happened after Columbus, as the Old World began to encounter the New World. See more »

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27 September 2010 (USA)  »

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A nice attempt to present a much more well-rounded view of American history.
13 January 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

As a retired history teacher, I could easily enjoy this film as it tried to present a much more balanced and well-rounded view of the history of the Spanish-speaking Americas. That's because history as we've all been taught it is very Euro-centric. And, as a result, the technological and cultural advances of the natives are mostly ignored. For example, when Columbus and his men arrived, the average native had a better diet and overall health than the Europeans. But, thanks to advances in weaponry and the imposition of a caste system, the natives were suppressed and their culture mostly ignored. But this documentary does NOT say that the natives or their culture were in fact eliminated. Instead, they flourished and slowly were integrated into the overall culture--thus destroying the caste system through rapid intermarriage. Other topics in this interesting documentary include how Spain became poor despite the influx of so much plundered gold and silver, how religion actually integrated Christian and native beliefs as well as attempts to preserve native history. It's all quite compelling. My only gripe, and it's a very, very minor one, is that modern revisionist history sometimes tends to over-idealize natives. While the Inca were important and decent folks, not all native tribes were so inclined--such as the Aztec. Now this film did NOT harp on this over-idealization--but it also did nothing to dispel it either.

Well worth watching and a great new look at the old.


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