Picture from Roots
Overall A-

Best-selling author Alex Haley chronicles his genealogical roots from Kunta Kinte, who was abducted from his African homeland in 1765, to Chicken George, who eventually leads his family to freedom after the Civil War. The injustices and violence that depict the hardships of the times honor the memory of those lost to slavery, but also make this remarkable series recommendable only to older teens and parents.

Violence C
Sexual Content C-
Profanity B
Substance Use C

MPAA Rating: Not Rated


The most recent home video release of this movie is January 15, 2002. Here are some details…

DVD notes…

After spending 573 minutes watching this powerful miniseries, a push of a button lets you view it again with many of the stars, directors, and producer David L. Wolper filling you in on the creation and history of the production. Unfortunately most of the commentary we listened to was of a general nature rather than commenting on the actual scene at hand, however the passion of the people involved in creating this milestone production comes through in anecdotes and stories.

Maybe the only other complaint about this DVD is that it looks too good. No one ever thought this film would be seen with such clarity, making Kunta Kinte’s African community look a little contrived, as does the makeup on some aging characters. Certainly the images far surpassed the little 21-inch television I originally watched it on.

DVD Release Information:
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Theatrical release date: 1977
  • DVD release date: January 15, 2002
  • Runtime: 573 minutes
  • Production company: Warner Bros.
  • Package type: Box set
  • Aspect ratio: Full Screen standard - 1.33:1
  • DVD encoding: Region 1
  • Available audio tracks: English & Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono).
  • Available subtitles: English, Spanish, French.
DVD Extras:
  • Commentaries by episode stars, and executive producer David L. Wolper
  • Behind the scenes documentary, Remembering Roots (2002)
  • Interactive Roots Family Tree and website links

Related home video titles:

Video alternatives…

For other films that deal with social issues arising from slavery, check out: Down In The Delta, A Family Thing, Freedom Song, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?, Malcolm X, Remember The Titans, and To Sir, With Love.

Related news about Roots

18 Movies to Commemorate Black History Month

18 Movies to Commemorate Black History Month