Nova - The Miracle of Life [VHS]
Nova - The Miracle of Life [VHS]

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Product Description

Still startlingly beautiful after several years, Nova's The Miracle of Life records human conception for the first time on film, and much more. Living, functioning reproductive systems are laid bare to the camera, and there is so much to explore and absorb that Nova's expert guidance is much needed and appreciated. The viewer follows an egg from its follicular development in an ovary, through the delicate, flowery fallopian tube for fertilization, and on to the uterus for development and eventual birth. Likewise, we follow the shorter journey of millions of sperm as they develop and strive mightily to reach the egg. (There isn't a man alive who can watch intraurethral footage without squirming--see for yourself!) Photographer Lennart Nilsson has shown us something profoundly beautiful and yet has left its fundamental mystery intact. The Miracle of Life is a rarity: a documentary that is also art. --Rob Lightner

Each minute, all over the world, a baby is born. An everyday occurrence, yet each birth is the culmination of one of nature's most complex, mysterious, and seemingly miraculous processes. A dramatic breakthrough in science and cinematography, the Peabody? award-winning The Miracle of Life takes you on an incredible voyage through the human body as a new life begins. World-renowned Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson presents a spectacular look at a microscopic world.

Customer Reviews:

  • Truly a miracle...
    The cinematography of this video is truly breathtaking. A learning process from beginning to end. Everytime I watch this video, I am constantly amazed and how the photographer was able to capture the events of conception. A masterpiece!...more info
  • Nova - The Ultimate Journey
    The photography is wonderful however, I found the outline to be misleading. The video starts out covering the preconception and conception phases of human development. It quickly changes focus and spends about 40 minutes comparing the human fetus to that of a fish, chick, and pig. Too much time was spent covering theories of possible links between all land and sea creatures. This left about 10 minutes to sum up a 10 second delivery and show toddlers at play.

    This video did not flow well and left you frustrated waiting for more concrete information....more info

  • Still amazing
    I recently showed this video to our 7th and 8th graders and they were just amazed. We all wished they showed how they did it because that drew almost as many questions as what was happening on the screen. The video was easy to pause and discuss and I'm so glad to have a copy on DVD.

    Make sure you watch the whole thing to determine whether your kids can handle the content (kids needed a warning before the ejaculation scene inside the vagina as it looked like a tidal wave), but my school is of the philosophy that the more information you have, the better...and remind them how tiny the sperm really are as they look larger than life onscreen. ...more info
  • For schools, not new moms
    Good video for scholastic purposes, but disappointing for expectant mothers... I bought this with the idea of seeing what my baby would look like at various stages of pregnancy, but that isn't what this offers. After a long explanation of the fertilization process, they skipped quickly over the actual fetus growth process and straight to birth. ...more info
  • A Must have for all Pregnant Couples
    This is a must have for all pregnant couples its not the most detailed DVD ever made but it gives you a fantastic overview of the full pregnancy process, from conception to delievery. Its a great way to bond with you spouse and baby to be.
    Joe...more info
  • Not as good as stated...
    I bought this DVD a short while back from Amazon with great expectations. This video was made in the early eighties and it shows it's age. This video was marketed as a great aid for expectant parents. On that premise, I decided to purchase it. The video starts off talking about cells and how life got started on earth a million years ago. I was disappointed to see that the first 30-45 minutes didn't really talk about babies at all, but more the fertilization process. There is a short segment at the end that shows a few different stages in the pregnancy, but not nearly enough. I also bought Life's Greatest Miracle by NOVA at the same time. I was a little disappointed in that one too, but it shows more of what I was expecting to see. Whatever you do, don't buy both as I did...A lot of the stuff is redundant. Hope this helps....more info
  • Very Educational and in good taste!
    This is the neatest video I've ever seen. It shows just how an egg is fertilized, the odds the sperm have of getting to it, the early growth of the egg, and through the gestational 9 months. I had to buy this video because it is something you can watch over and over and be totally amazed! I think you'll enjoy this video-it's worth every cent and then some!...more info
  • Classic educational film
    I have used this video in teaching college courses many times over the past ten years - there is no better film showing the development of sperm and egg, the journey of the sperm to the egg, and mystery of how they join. It is NOT primarily about prenatal development or childbirth. It is about the incredible feat of conception itself. My only beef is that it incorrectly states the prostate to be the major source of seminal fluid (only 30% is from there - 70% is from the seminal vesicles)....more info
  • A sweet Basic knowledge of human reproduction
    Though this movie dates a long way back, it contains some of the important elementary information about the human reproduction system. Starting from a cell and then the egg that lays in the uterus of a woman and how the process of fertilization takes place as only one of the 200 million sperms released by man has the chance to penetrate and fertalize the egg and start the reproduction process. And that too not much often. Then passing through the different stages of reproduction the baby is delivered in the end. Deserves being watched....more info
  • A Revelation of Life
    This wonderful documentary shows the intricacies of life and the inventiveness that the photographer has undertaken to record its incredible diversity on this planet.

    It presents views and data that would seem to refute much of the mindless paradigm commonly called "Evolution"--views, that if traced to their logical conclusions would clearly indicate that anyone claiming evolution as "indisputable fact" is simply ignorant of the mountain of scientific data to the contrary....more info

  • Buy this DVD and be amazed
    With my wife a few months from giving birth, I decided to buy this DVD and see in detail what we have created.

    First point about the problems what so earlier review ripped the DVD, but I had no problems...the DVD does not offer any additional footage or worthwhile information...

    Content...beginning (first 5-8 minutes) is very slow...the "content" about creating life was FASCINATING...was a little disappointed with the 5-6 minute ending on birth...was hoping to get a better picture of that process...still useful, but not enough coverage...

    Overall good, but walked away wanting to know more of the birth side......more info

  • Miracle of life/First Feelings DVDs
    Miracle of Life DVD: Photography is awesome and as always the Nova Documentary is very Scientific but very well stated and easily understood.
    First Feelings DVD: Basic child psychology well stated but this documentary was definately made in the mid 70's .....the parents and the Doctors dress was so outdated.... it made you think that the data they discussed surely must be outdated too....more info
  • Now you will know that the Almighty is truly behind all this
    This is no fake thing! That truly was a little capture of the works and art of the great God that we serve. He is a supreme scientist, architect and he is so great. It gets to the point where modern science cannot go further with their bogus explanations. The miracle, is there and it is beyond comments and explanations. Go and see for your self, GOD IS GREAT and we must serve him....more info
  • Disgusted
    This video was shown in my 9th/10th grade Biology class. It was completely inappropriate for people my age. The view of a male's [reproductive part] inside a women's [reproductive part] was so not necessary. It was not a drawing, but a real picture through a camera. The real live birth uncensored was also inappropriate. THey don't even show that on the discovery channel uncensored. Also the heat image of a [male reproductive part] becoming erect, 14-16 yr olds don't need to see that!...more info
  • Spellbinding, incredible photojournal of life's beginning
    I first saw this movie when it aired on PBS many years ago and again when I was expecting my now 13 year old daughter. This is an absolutely spellbinding movie. I came looking for it as my sister who is expecting her 1st baby has never seen it. I am going to be buying it myself so that I can show it to my daughter. Some have complained that it doesn't show enough of the birth process. View it for what it IS: an incredible feat of engineering & direction in viewing God's ultimate engineering & direction. Phenomenal photography!...more info
  • This package contains TWO DVDs!
    This is an excellent series but buyers should be aware that this listing is for two individual DVDs: The Miracle of Life *and* Life's First Feelings. So, if you are considering getting The Miracle of Life and can afford to, you might want to buy this one. I mistakenly bought BOTH because this listing said it was ONE DVD and I thought it was an enhanced version of the original The Miracle of Life. It is actually an additional DVD that compliments the first one. I highly recommend both. My only disappointment with The Miracle of Life was that it stops showing the development of the baby in-utero at about 20 weeks and goes right to the birth. The birth itself is very outdated because it shows a woman in a sterile delivery room, lying flat on her back, pushing (which we now know is not an optimal position for birthing. Otherwise, its still holds up after all these years. The second DVD, "Life's First Feelings" is fascinating but you should be aware that it was originally produced in 1986. which is currently almost 22 years ago, and you can tell it is outdated....more info
  • A look at Evolution
    This video looks at the relationships of different types of animals and gives the author's theory of evolution. It shows how very similar different animals look while still an embryo, and some prehistoric features that all the animal embryos had and quickly grew out of. I think this video was interesting, seeing how similar we are to other animals at that stage. If you are looking for something focusing just on humans this isnt it, but I would recommend this video overall based on its interesting scientific information....more info
  • Only 15 min of fetal development
    The video was detailed and provided insightful information into fetal development, but I was very disappointed that the first 45 minutes covers pre-conception information and only 15 minutes covers the entire gestational period with less than 3 minutes dedicated to birth. I watched the last 15 minutes over and over, but I really felt that the first 3/4 of the video was wasted....more info
  • informative in a narrow scope
    This video dealt mostly with the process of conception, with only the last 5 minutes showing the fetal development over the nine months to birth. It was very in depth, showing actual photos and video of cell-level processes you never thought you would see on video, but for the non-science class oriented, it could be a bit dry....more info
  • i remember...
    when i was in 6th grade i had to watch it...more info
  • The Miracle of Life
    This is an amazing video. It has eight parts to it that takes you through the process of how a child is created from DNA to the birth. I had this video when I had my first child who is now 21 and I purchased this one for a friend and she loved it.

    It's a great video to watch and show your kids (reasonable age) when they start to ask you where they came from....more info
  • make you realise how wonderfull we all are
    I have seen this film some years ago and I wont be able to review...more info
  • a health teacher in middle school says
    As a middle school health teacher, I am always on the lookout for videos that will educate AND hold the kids attention. The Miracle of Life does both well. A few caveats: the beginning few minutes give a very strong evolutionary flavor--can be easily zapped through if so desired. The birth at the end of the video, while very well done and not scary for adults, is a little much for young viewers--I omit it for my 8th graders. There is no doubt left by the video about when life begins--the moment of conception is the beginning of life. I would have liked more fetal development, personally, but the parts on the reproductive systems and how they work is nothing short of outstanding. I love the sense of wonder and awe this video leaves my students with. This would be outstanding for any health program, 8th grade or older....more info
  • this video was a eye opener
    This video should be seen by every adult. Birth was a mystery for some, until now....more info
  • slightly misleading
    I bought this video because I wanted to learn more about pregnancy and childbirth after I found out I was pregnant. Based on the video's cover, I expected it to be about humans. The video is so broad and offers only a few minutes of actual footage that I was interested in. I felt like I was in science class and bored for the most part. It is an informative video, but not if you want to know about what is happening with your developing baby....more info
  • Awesome!
    Awesome pretty much covers it. We purchased this to assist us in our 'talk' with our sons. It is perfect. The words may be a bit over their heads at first, but we will be viewing it with them and explaining in 'kid terms' what is happening. The DVD chapter search will be quite helpful. Love it - Love it - Love it! Even after all my research into the subject, I even learned some interesting facts. I will enjoy viewing it again and again....more info
  • Shows the Profound Spirituality of Science
    I saw this movie many times in school as a child, and to this day it still astounds me. It has always provided fuel for my intense awe of the beauty of evolution, and its profound magic and wonder. That we have managed to evolve over thousands and millions of years from cells to the complexity of what we are today fills me with an appreciation of the higher and deeper power in our world, our true Creator, connecting everything. Now that I am pregnant, I am honored to be reproducing the process of evolution within my own body. I will be watching this video again and again....more info
  • Just amazing
    Never cease to marvel over the photography in this video. Using it now to educate my children on the complexity of conception. ...more info
  • I recall viewing this in fifth grade health class
    This video literally is one very graphic thing that I can recall from watching this during my fifth-grade health class. The one part that scarred me and that I recall now at aged 32 was the final scene of the woman giving birth--it is too much for a kid. I still can recall all the students gasping, the color draining from my face, the hairy vagina and then the head slowly coming out. The following discussion also on how all the girls were going to end up adopting. I suppose this film was shown both to explain life (which was too advanced for us to comprehend at the level in the film) along with deter us from teenage pregnancy (did not work either). I feel this film is best left for high schoolers, but is utterly scarring for younger kids!...more info
  • Simply Amazing
    This is a very informative, interesting look at what a miracle conception and birth really are. This video explains every aspect in scientific terms that you can understand, along with brilliant technological capturing of conception and the growing fetus in the womb. At the end is a short but tasteful live birth. Since I am expecting it has greatly increased my knowledge of what is happening to my baby. This is a wonderful DVD to watch with your family when expecting a child....more info
  • Reviewing Reviewers
    It is shocking to me that there are people even today who doggedly adhere to the quaint, 19th century drawing room notions of what evolution is, and its implications.

    The thinly disguised "reviews" here, intentionally made in a lukewarm way to avoid the appearance of the anti-evolutionary propaganda they truly are, refer to evolution as "the author's theory" or "trying to connect humans to pigs and chickens" as though the evidence that all species descended from a common ancestor is an unsupported notion and not the indisputable fact it is.

    The videos are fine, and contain valid, concrete information and is well produced....more info

  • DVD is a bust!
    After having this phenomenally outstanding production on DVD replaced three times, I finally came to the conclusion that the DVD was simply a terrible transfer.

    The resolution is awful.

    What a shame to do this to such an outstanding film.

    Skip the DVD until it's redone....more info

  • Little Disappointed
    This is an amazing video that focuses primarily on fertilization (with actual footage of the ejaculation) and the beginning of life and disappointingly only a few minutes of a developing baby in the womb and the birth. Of course, Nova couldn't create a documentary on life without including their take on evolution and how something as complex as a human being evolved from some soupy stuff billions of years ago. If you believe differently than Nova and/or you are a cautious parent, you may want to think twice before letting your kids ,of any age, view this video. ...more info
  • Miracle of life
  • Really great.
    We bought this with National Geographic's, "In the Womb". I really like both, they explain different things. NOVA's has a very short part about the actual fetus developing which was disappointing. But all the pictures were real photos of the fetus, it was very interesting....more info
  • Amazing
    This is a startlingly close look at the making of a baby, and really makes you realize how beautiful life is. My big concern is its imablance--lots of footage of pre-conception and conception, and then only a few images of the embryo and fetus, and an unsatisfyingly quick overview of the birth. The early parts got me excited about life, and then the sudden ending left me empty. I wish they had covered all the stages of "the miracle of life" in equal depth, and made the film longer. In other words, this is a remarkable study of the earliest stages of pregnancy only....more info
  • Still holds up after the years
    I first saw this one almost twenty years ago. It had a profound effect on me then, and it still moves me now. This is the documentary that shows you the birds and the bees. It was done before the days of computerized special effects, and was a landmark for it's day. Even today, it holds up quite well.

    The presentation does make its stand on evolution vs. creation early by stating that life began in the sea billions of years ago with one-celled organisms that formed there. It partially does this to show how these cells are basically the same as those in our own body. So whether or not this is your belief, let it go, and proceed with the rest, which beautifully illustrates how babies are made.

    We first get how each camp's plumbing is layed out, before any contact is made. We learn how, even with the success of the population's reproduction rate, things do have to fall into place for everything to work. When we come to the actual mating part, it is tastefully done, although it does seem to indicate that all humans are wonderful and loving when it comes to sex.

    Once man and woman are joined, the filming is terrific in showing that a lot of work still needs to be done to get junior going. If I were a little guy with a tail realizing I had to swim the equivalent of sixty miles with a few million of my little buddies with the best scenario being only one of us will succeed might make me rethink the process, but indeed the guys do make the journey.

    We see how the connection is made, and then how the cell-dividing process starts. Once again, the camerawork is excellent, and we see different fetal stages which lead all the way to junior's entering of the big, bad world. This is terrific stuff.

    The only drawback to this is that I didn't find it a great tool for sex education. It might work for someone over ten, but our kids, ranging from 4-9, just drifted away to do other things when we put it on. But for adults, something so simple, yet so powerful provides a great occasional reminder of where those birds, bees, rabbits, and storks get their employment papers....more info


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