I don't think this can technically be called a documentary. It's a one-hour television special with narration, actors, props, and so forth, rather like a feature film. No talking heads,and only one or two maps and the narration to guide us through an event in which the performers speak the original language.
The program covers the Battle of Megiddo in 1458 BC. The opponents are Hadesh, commander of an uprising against Egypt in Syria, and Thutmosis, newly anointed young pharaoh, who assumed the throne upon the death of his mother, Hatshepsut, who had been a big deal at the time.
Thutmosis is played by Omar Berdouni. He's a decent actor, as far as it's possible to tell from the limited challenges he faces here, but I didn't care for the way he looked. He reminded me too much of the spoiled kid in high school who aces all the math tests.
The story was inscribed in hieroglyphics on the walls of the Temple of Karnak, and done in considerable detail. Yet some of these incidents, the ones that follow a particular ordinary soldier who is conscripted and dies in battle, must have been fabricated. Not that I distrust the accuracy of the construction. It lends a more dramatic flair to the story.
Egyptian civilization was a peculiar thing. Greece came and went in a thousand years; give Rome the same period. But Egypt, conquered or not, lasted for about 4,000 years. We're more or less familiar with their engineering triumphs, but the anthropologist Leo Frobenius traced the origins of all of European art back to Egypt as well. As a person of no particular artistic bent, I must say that their color schemes were appealing -- pale blue and burnt umber against a sand background.
The name of the city -- Megiddo, meaning "hill" -- came to us by a curious route through Hebrew and Greek as the word "Armageddon."
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