Roots (TV series)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Television series
German title Roots
Original title Roots
Country of production United States
original language English
year 1977
length a total of 570 minutes
Episodes 8 in 1 season
Director Marvin J. Chomsky
David Greene
John Erman
Gilbert Moses
production David Wolper
music Gerald Fried
Quincy Jones
First broadcast January 23, 1977 (USA) on ABC
first broadcast
February 26, 1978 on
German television

Roots ("Roots") is a mini-television series based on the novel Roots ( Roots: The Saga of an American Family) by Alex Haley . It first aired in the United States on January 23, 1977.


Starting around the middle of the 18th century, the film epic tells the story of a total of seven generations of an African-American family.

In 1767, slave traders kidnapped the 17-year-old Mandinka boy ( called Mandingo in the film ) Kunta Kinte from the West African village of Juffure in Gambia , in order to later sell him as a " nigger " at a slave market in North America . During the crossing on the brig Lord Ligonier , a black revolt claims victims on both sides. The first officer of the slave ship and the captured "wrestler", who was an instructor during a previous initiation ritual in the bush of Kuntas, are killed.

Kunta ends up on the plantation of the planter John Reynold in Virginia , where he becomes the friend of the veteran slave and violinist Fiddler and is renamed Toby. He is flogged for the first unsuccessful attempt to escape. After several years on the plantation, Kinte tries to flee again. The slave hunters set on him track him down and punish his attempt to escape by cutting off half a foot with an ax to prevent future attempts to escape. During his weeks of convalescence , he and Fiddler were ceded to his brother William because of his master’s financial difficulties and looked after by the long-serving slave Bell in his property. After his recovery, Kinte Bell marries without giving up his African identity, to the chagrin of his wife, who has come to terms with her fate as a person born in slavery. They have a daughter who they call Kizzy.

Several years later, after she helped the slave friend Noah to the ultimately unsuccessful escape, Kizzy is sold to the run-down fighting cock breeder Tom Moore. He raped her immediately after her arrival on his farm, from which a boy emerged. Growing up, George, as his name is, helps his master out with his cockfighting and eventually becomes a respected trainer. Meanwhile, on a detour to her old farm, his mother learns of the death of her father, whose gravestone inscription she changes from "Toby" to "Kunta Kinte". When an impressed opposing breeder wants to buy "Chicken George" and will soon release it, but Tom Moore does not want to accept this suggestion, George decides to die, but spares him when he learns from his mother Kizzy that "Massa" Moore is his father . After a lost fight, George is assigned to the winner Russell, a British aristocrat, as gambling debt and leaves home, wife and his now-born sons Tom and Lewis for Europe.

Again after several years he returns, now ransomed, and meets his wife Mathilda and his sons on a plantation, but his mother Kizzy is no longer alive. George learns that he can only stay free if he leaves his people and, on Mathilda's advice, sets off again. The meanwhile broken Civil War ends for the Confederates with the surrender and for blacks with the supposed freedom. But harassment and militant resistance on the part of the white population, but also economic pressures, let the former slaves continue to live in dependency until they can win a victory against the whites with the help of a white defector and emigrate.


The series received nine Emmys , a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award .

Continuation and new edition


“The series follows the fate of his family from the days of oppression and humiliation to the moment of liberation. The family's fate mixes with the public, but occasionally also quite speculatively, with political events and the turmoil of the civil war. "

- (film dictionary)

Voice actor

The voice actors for the German version:


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Roots. Retrieved October 17, 2015 .