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What to know: This fantastic, captivating film had me on the edge of my seat for the entire time.
Recommended age 13-18
38 minutes
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MAN WHO UNLOCKED THE UNIVERSE cover image Click to play video trailer
This fantastic, captivating film had me on the edge of my seat for the entire time. I enjoyed how much I learned in a 38 minute documentary, and I can't wait to share it with my friends and family. I have taken years of science classes, but I never learned about the man who helped advance the scientific world beyond comprehension, Ulugh Beg. There is so much to learn about in this world and, if you're curious about how science has functioned as a revolutionary force in our society, then this is definitely the film for you.

Ulugh Beg, the man who truly unlocked the universe, was an intelligent astronomer, warrior and impactful ruler of the Timurid Empire. Born in Persia in 1394, Ulugh Beg transfigured concepts of spherical geometry and trigonometry, in addition to transmogrifying Samarkand into one of the most enlightened centers for science and education. Ulugh Beg's newfound astronomical instruments helped him correctly determine Earth's axial tilt, and his scientific advancements are widely used today, without many people knowing it.

Ulugh Beg, portrayed by Francisco Ovalle, undoubtedly possessed a tenacious passion for mathematics and science. Ovalle demonstrates this passion immensely, with his intriguing facial expressions and willingness to constantly succeed, no matter the circumstance. The narrator, Vincent Cassel keeps the audience entertained with his profound knowledge about Ulugh Beg's legacy. Cassel's voice is very strong and his personality is quite poised, allowing the audience to easily determine the defining moments of Ulugh Beg's life.

The film's setting is impeccable. I have never been to Uzbekistan, but this film makes you feel as if you're there with Ulugh Beg and his family. With a plethora of extensive mountains, luscious green grass and immense rainfall, you cannot help but feel relaxed and on vacation. In addition, I am appalled at how Ulugh Beg's lifestyle is drastically different from mine. Not only does he have a luxurious throne and robe, but he also has a large amount of people looking up to him as a divine ruler. Seeing this makes me want to be a queen!

My favorite part is when Ulugh Beg is shown as a little prince, running through the falling leaves of beautiful trees. He has the biggest smile on his face and doesn't know of the great future in store for him. It reminds me of my childhood, when I used to run to my mom and hug her. It made me so happy. I can relate to Ulugh Beg, enjoying nature and smiling beyond comprehension.

The message of this film is to appreciate and understand how science shapes our modern world today. If it wasn't for Ulugh Beg, science would not be the same. Dream big, be curious and know that learning is beautiful. The more you learn, the more you can become like Ulugh Beg and change the world.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 13 to 18, because there are some scenes with sword fighting and blood. This documentary is available exclusively on Amazon now. Check it out and discover how you can unlock the universe.

By Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

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Ruler. Warrior. Astronomer. Ulugh Beg was one of the world's greatest astronomical minds, an enlightened leader who turned medieval Samarkand into a great center of science 150 years before Galileo invented the telescope. Blast off on a stunning, cinematic journey from his birth as a prince through right up to his untimely death...foretold in the stars.
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