The Lost Diary of Dr. Livingstone follows a pioneering American team’s ground-breaking attempts to decipher the legendary explorer’s last diary. By digging out these forgotten pages, they began an incredible journey inside the mind of this extraordinary 19th-century adventurer. The original pages contain a secret, hidden until now – is it possible that Livingstone, a crusader for the abolition of slavery, worked with slaves?


“The Lost Diary of Dr. Livingstone” is an hour long investigation into a poorly written diary. It turns out that the adventurer might have been doing nefarious deeds in darkest Africa. Did the abolitionist have slaves? Did he do bad things in areas that would give Joseph Conrad a boner? Will this make casual viewers even care? Do any of the readers actually know who this guy is?

There’s something about documentaries that mean to uncover some secret douchebaggery about famous figures. It always feels cheap and never amounts to much. But, there’s really not a ton of information about Dr. Livingstone. I don’t know much about how him outside of what you find in the encyclopedia, but I guess that he kept the same mentality as most of his peer group at the time. I can’t tell how much of the documentary was meant to be about documentary recovery or uncovering secret truth? It’s such a weird split and the lack of focus made the documentary a chore for me to finish. However, I still appreciate what it tried to do. I don’t know what to chalk it up to, but there it is.

The DVD comes with no special features. It’s fairly typical for a focus PBS documentary. The A/V Quality is on par with similar documentaries. But, that’s not like it was something that would blow out your home theater. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase to the curious.


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