1999. VHS/NTSC video tape. 3-540-92639-9
The authors of this film explain the topic of symmetry in mathematics with examples from Islamic art. The mathematical background - plane crystallographic groups - is spectacularly illustrated by examples at the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. This film will be enjoyed by everyone interested in mathematics, from school students to researchers. (Springer Verlag)
The setting of the video is the Alhambra, in Spain (a natural choice for two Spanish authors), in which almost all types of arabesques can be found. The scenes are very picturesque and provide a concrete image to associate with the mathematics being discussed. The narrator has a very soothing (almost meditative, but not monotone) voice and moves at a reasonable pace. There are really two main parts to this video, dictated by the difficulty of the content.
The first ten minutes (of twenty) are devoted to a quick, yet thorough, discussion of rigid transformations in the plane (e.g., rotation, reflection, and translation). This portion is a truly excellent motivational lesson which can be especially useful in a geometry course designed for elementary education majors.
The examples and animation sequences beautifully illustrate the mathematics and would be appreciated by undergraduates.
The second half, however, is a bit more advanced. It focuses primarily on the classification of the 17 plane crystallographic groups and the connection to arabesques. This portion of the presentation is perhaps more suitable for a student of abstract algebra..." (Mark McKibben for MAA Online book review )