“Mayflower Pilgrims” Tells The Real Story Behind Thanksgiving Tradition

Today many Americans gather together to break bread with the ones they love and to thank God for all the blessings of their lives. Much of our Thanksgiving tradition has its roots in the harvest festivals of ancient times, as our tables are set with a turkey centerpiece surrounded by the bounty of the land. And yet the religious origins of this great holiday are still apparent in the prayer of grace as the American family begins the meal. The Janson Media documentary The Mayflower Pilgrims tells the “back story” of the Pilgrims, from the English perspective. The film sheds light on the reasons why these brave people undertook their  long and treacherous journey to America – a fervent desire to practice their religious faith freely and openly. A recent review by Educational Media Reviews Online  recommends the film, available on DVD, for classrooms and public libraries.

For those of us who grew up with stories of the Pilgrims every November this work is something of a revelation. Filmed on location in those areas of England where the Pilgrims arose we see the churches where they worshiped, the wharf in Plymouth where they boarded Mayflower, the roads they traveled. Many of these places may be unknown to Americans. Narrator Barry Coleman does well in making the story of the Pilgrims something that involves flesh and blood people. Performers in period dress help to give some scenes a “you are there” quality. Overall, the quality of the picture, the camera work, and sound are good to very good. This story of a group of what may be termed proto-Puritans and their search for religious freedom will do well in schools and public libraries. – Educational Media Reviews Online

Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO) is a database of video, DVD, audio CD and CD-ROM reviews of materials from major educational and documentary distributors and independent filmmakers. The reviews are written by librarians and teaching faculty in institutions across the United States and Canada.