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I can't recall seeing a PBS Home Video that I did not like. Educational documentaries are my favorite. Before viewing this DVD, I knew very little about Catherine the Great. After watching this 2 hour special, I don't know if I admire her or dislike her. Even thought she was not moral in her marriage to Peter, she was not the great nymphomaniac or harlot that history has made her out to be. Over looking her short comings, she did bring social reform to Russia. I believe that she did what she thought was best for her country.
The best thing about this documentary is that it tells her story from her own memoirs and personal letters. It makes a good historical account of her life. She had compassion for her people and was ruthless towards her enemies. It would be unfair to compare Catherine to Evita Peron or Cleopatra. Catherine stands alone. She shows great courage when she leads the way in taking the vaccine for small pox first. This documentary brings out other interesting facts.
Emily Bruni does an excellent job in portraying Catherine the Great. I would like to see her in other acting roles.
I would liked to have seen more about Caterine's religious views as well as her taste in the arts. There are a few Russian subtitles in this special.
Weather you like or dislike Catherine the Great, she helped make Russia a great nation. Too bad Lennin and Stalin made Russia such an evil place to live.
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