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Movie Review: ‘Pompeii at the British Museum’

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The British Museum is presenting a marvelous movie documentary event at theaters all over the world. entitled Pompeii at The British Museum. On Wednesday, September 25, my husband and I were privileged to witness this event at the Merchants Walk Cinemas in Marietta, GA.

pompeiiPompeii couple from Wikimedia Commons

This documentary invites viewers to experience the first exhibition ever at The British Museum on this subject, and the first of any kind on Pompeii in more than 40 years. The  exhibition allows the viewer to see many of the wonderful objects recovered from  not only Pompeii but from Herculaneum as well, the smaller town that was also destroyed by volcano in one day in AD 79.  Experts explain many of the objects as well as the story of what happened to these ordinary people on this extraordinary day.

Objects range from the practical, including chamber pots and wash basins and cooking utensils, to the beautiful, including art and jewelry. There are also the unique and very touching plaster casts which were created from the molds left in the volcanic ash and which allow us to see exactly how people looked when they died.

A word of warning is necessary for parents and teachers. A great deal of the material here is of an adult nature, with objects and art of an erotic nature and some adult language.

The destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum and the loss of thousands of lives were tragic events at the time but they left us with a priceless opportunity to peek at the lives of Roman citizens at the height of the empire. Seeing their jewelry, keys, coins, and even objects removed from the sewers really brings these people to life in a way that mere words cannot do.

The documentary is beautifully filmed and the experts are often amusing. I would have liked to have seen more of the 250 objects on display but it was fascinating to get even the limited glimpse the documentary is able to provide.

See this documentary if you have the opportunity and also visit the exhibit website to learn more and to find out how to download the special app for iPhones and select Android phones which will allow you to explore the exhibition in more depth.

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About Rhetta Akamatsu

I am an author of non-fiction books and an online journalist. My books include Haunted Marietta, The Irish Slaves, T'ain't Nobody's Business If I Do: Blues Women Past and Present, and Sex Sells: Women in Photography and Film.