Plot: What’s it about?
If you look around most cities, you’ll see Freemason symbols all around. In stickers on car windows, on street lights, on buildings, you name it. The civic group helps with all kinds of charities, from children’s hospitals to local concerns, but the Freemasons tend to get more attention than most civic organizations. The rumors of what happens inside the meetings, how one can join, and what powerful, influential people are members run rampant. Some believe the Masons pull the strings of the Oval Office and beyond, as if the group is some kind of Illuminati. In Freemasonry Revealed, actual Masons speak out to offer insight, while opposition to the group is also heard. You’ll see how the group was founded, how it has evolved, and where the group is headed in the future. This is as close as you can get to the Masons, without being one yourself.
This is not the “all secrets revealed” type program the title implies, but Freemasonry Revealed is a good look at the group and those who join. I don’t know that we’re taken “behind closed doors,” but you do see some secrets such as a handshake and password, just nothing that memorable. As someone who has numerous family members in the Freemasons, I’ve never understood the concept of the group as suspicious or underground. After all, if the Freemasons are a secretive society, no one has kept the secret. But this is a decent look at the Freemasons, a fair one to boot, which shows the group’s rise and how it has evolved. Both sides of the coin are given time, so both Masons and those who dislike the group are interviewed. Freemasonry Revealed is no landmark look inside the group, but does it provide some good information. So if you’re interested in the Freemasons, in a positive or negative way, this three part program is well worth a look.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. This looks much like you’d expect from a cable documentary, which is good news if you ask me. I never saw serious colors bleeds, as hues were bright and flesh tones looked natural also. The contrast is also solid and I found no detail lacking in any of the sequences. I saw one section of this documentary on cable and without a doubt, this release is a sizable improvement.
Audio: How does it sound?
This show isn’t geared toward dynamic audio, so the included stereo mix is more than adequate in this case. Some of the programs were recorded live and can be a little hard to decipher at times, but that is a flaw with the source materials and not this audio mix. The music sounds fine and most importantly, the dialogue comes across in crisp & clear form, which is vital for this show.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Inside Freemasonry is the lone supplement, a program that follows four potential Freemasons as they enter the group. This is a nice piece that gives the Masonic experience a more personal feel. This isn’t as in depth as the main documentaries, but it is a welcome inclusion.