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The mysteries surrounding the ancient mummies of Egypt are canvassed: how they were embalmed, where they were hidden. Features Egyptologists Dr Bob Brier and Dr Zahi Hawass, and DNA scientist Angelique Corthals, whose genetic analysis has huge implications for the study of modern human diseases.

Review by Louise Keller:
The grandeur and scale of the Imax screen is perfectly suited to the subject matter in this fascinating look at the life and times of the Egyptian Pharaohs. The opening sequence in which the entire screen is filled by the enticing curves of the vast desert sets the scene, and takes us into the heart of Egypt, a country that dominated the Far East for thousands of years. We see the majesty of the pyramids, the obelisks, the sculptures, the carvings and paintings that represent a civilisation with many accomplishments, as well as secrets.

A mix of documentary and re-enactments from three different time frames including the days of the Pharaohs, the present day and the 19th century, when a major discovery of dozens of mummies of the men and women who built Egypt was made. Narrated by Christopher Lee, there's a wealth of information about the culture that built temples to please the gods and wanted to be remembered and given safe passage into the next world.

In the context of researching cures of diseases such as malaria, for which DNA needs to be examined, a modern day mummy is created by scientists, in the same way the ancient Egyptologists embalmed their Pharaohs. In this way, they are able to determine how to extract the DNA from the ancient mummies. (Interesting to note that DNA changes fractionally with each generation.)

I felt a great sense of wonder to learn about this extraordinary, glamorous civilisation that believed fervently in the after life and that has left us with a tangible treasure trove as a reminder of its life and times.

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(US, 2007)

CAST: Docu-drama narrated by Christopher Lee with Elana Drago, William Hope, Nasser Memarzia

PRODUCER: Arabella Cecil, Don Kempf, and Steve Kempf

DIRECTOR: Keith Melton

SCRIPT: Arabella Cecil


EDITOR: Harry B. Miller III

MUSIC: Sam Cardon

RUNNING TIME: 40 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 9, 2007 (Sydney)

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