Synopsis by Alice Duncan
The second volume of the Giant Nile documentary series visits the sites of two ancient civilizations: one with Asian & Egyptian influences, the other the first black civilization and the origin of a line of pharaohs. The history of each region is examined, along with aspects of current cultures. In the White Nile area in the Sudan, Nuba women are shown embedding beads in their skin as part of a rite to mark important milestones in life, and men cover themselves with ashes and wrestle for the "right to eternal life." In Ethiopia, Coptic people - descendants of early Christians under Islamic rule - are shown climbing cliffs to reach churches built on mountaintops. Visits are also paid to Khartoum, the historic city designed by the British but taken over by the Muslims a century ago - and to Abu Simbel, where the pharoah, Ramses II, erected giant statues of himself.