I am big on conservation.  I only use CFLs, I don’t warm my car up in the winter, I bring my own bags to the grocery store most of the time, I sort my recycling.  It’s the least I can do for the world and it does make a difference, whether I can see results from it or not.  Something I don’t think every think about conserving is culture and there’s a DVD about that idea and it’s available right now.

Starting this March 24th, now available on DVD from Smithsonian Networks and Infinity Entertainment Group comes a four part series which takes a look at how our world is shrinking in the most unfortunate ways.  Light At The Edge Of The World is ready to come right out of your television screen and share a look at some endangered cultures in our world.  Bring home this highly informative and ultimately moving film today!

Wade Davis is a noted anthropologist, ethnobotanist and conservationist and he is also now the host of this delightful four part series from the Smithsonian Institute.  Join Davis as he takes a look at four cultures which stand on the verge on extinction as they are assimilated into the larger cultures which surround them.  The four episodes included in this series are “Peru – Sacred Geography,” “Polynesia – Wayfinders,” “Himalayas – Science Of The Mind” and “Arctic – Hunters Of The Northern Ice.”  Through these four episodes, you will learn of the wealth of knowledge and insight our world is losing every day.

The special features included on this DVD are a 4×3 letterbox format, Dolby Digital Surround Sound and subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired.  This is something which saddens me with every release from the Smithsonian Institute, but it’s especially true with this one – there aren’t enough special features.  This series deals with a crucially serious issue and I’m sure there are a whole bunch of neat facts which didn’t make it into the final cut.  Having those included would make a world of difference.  However, this series did win the 2008 New York Festival Silver Award in the magazine format and the 2008 Telluride Mountain Film Festival Spirit Place Award.

The most amazing fact in this whole series is that back in 1950, there were over 6,000 languages being spoken by indigenous peoples.  Yet over half of them did not pass on those languages and integrated cultures to their children.  When a culture dies, it has left the building forever.  The idea of all this knowledge and practice leaving us is a very sobering thought, yet which is also a thought very few of us have ever had.  And that’s the greatest shame about this.  Cultures are being snuffed out across the world and we never even know about it.  Take the first step towards that knowledge and watching this painful and illuminating series.

This Light shines ever brightly.

This DVD is available at Amazon.com.

Nathaniel Jonet

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