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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.
Why Is Roots Rated Not Rated?
Roots is rated Not Rated
Here is additional information on sex, violence and profanity in 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. Please note that this film also contains female nudity as well as some scenes of sexuality.
Violence: C Leopard attacks and feeds on goat. Animal skinned with knife. Characters attend a wrestling class where they are flipped and tossed. Character dies at sea and his body is tossed overboard. Character chooses suicide by jumping off ship. Battling characters use swords, knives, guns, whips, and a cannon, resulting in capture, injury, or death. Character is chased and captured with the use of dogs. Characters punished and controlled with whips throughout, including one very intense scene.
Sexual Content: C- Men are dressed in scant tribal attire and females are seen bare-breasted in first episode. Implied rape of numerous characters. Young females purchased for sexual purposes. A private body part is indicated in a joke made by characters.
Language: B At least: 6 mild profanities, 2 terms of Deity used as expletives, 2 mild insults, and 16 racial slurs.
Alcohol / Drug Use: C Characters smoke cigars. Herbal paste used as antiseptic before a surgical procedure. Characters drink rum and other types of alcohol, and one character is portrayed as drunken. Medicines and tar used to seal wounds.
Miscellaneous Concerns: Possible other concerns may include a very convincing portrayal of childbirth as well as a circumcision. Characters shown chained together, ankles and wrists bloodied, laying in their own vomit. Demeaning terms used to describe Africans and African-Americans throughout.
Home Video Viewing Alternatives
Here are some ideas for home video titles that are related to Roots.
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.
News & Views About Roots:
18 Movies to Commemorate Black History MonthFebruary marks Black History Month, an annual observance in the United States and Canada. The first celebration of Black History Month took place on Kent State University in 1970. The U.S. government officially recognized it as part of the bicentennial celebrations in 1976. In commemoration of the event we’ve compiled ...
Canadian Movie Ratings
Canadian Home Video Rating: PG
Watch @ Home
Details on home video releases of Roots...
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.
- Commentaries by episode stars, and executive producer David L. Wolper
- Behind the scenes documentary, Remembering Roots (2002)
- Interactive Roots Family Tree and website links