Documentaries and Movies

Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of the Mayflower covers the Pilgrims in England, Holland and the first year at Plymouth.  Using Shakespearen actors and actual Wampanoag, this documentary switches between reenactments and historian "talking heads" (that include the likes of Nathaniel Philbrick and Jim Baker).  It is not perfect, of course, and has been criticized for various things (such as rewriting the words of William Bradford and presenting them as if they were actual quotes; some rather simplistic and childish dialogue--a sermon that starts "religion is the best, and the corruption of it the worst"; and for babbling on about Dorothy Bradford's supposed "suicide").  But Lone Wolf Productions and the History Channel have put together a solid documentary none-the-less, second only in quality to the more recent PBS documentary, "The Pilgrims."


The Pilgrims, a Ric Burns documentary that first aired on PBS in November 2015, is extremely well researched and written, and the videography is spectacular.  The documentary follows the Pilgrims from England, into Holland, and then to America, primarily through the writings of William Bradford, whose History of Plymouth Plantation is regularly quoted and seen.  The Mayflower II and Plimoth Plantation were used as shoot locations, and the original Bradford manuscript is shown on a number of occasions.