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The Last Empire

   2016    History
China's last empire, the Qing, lasted from 1644 to 1912. It began in violence and war as the Manchus swept down from the north, but invaders became emperors, with three generations of one family ruling the country. Among them, Michael Wood argues, was China's greatest emperor - Kangxi. Under the Qing, China doubled in size to include Xinjiang in the far west, as well as Mongolia and Tibet, creating the essential shape of China today. The new dynasty tolerated a diversity of cultures and religions, including Islam. In Kaifeng, Michael visits a women's mosque with a female imam, a delightful scene that ends with laughter and selfies! The Qing also undertook huge cultural enterprises. At a traditional printing house where the wood blocks are hand-carved, we see how the Complete Tang Poems were reproduced - all 48,000 of them. We travel through the wintry countryside to a remote village where a hardy audience watch open-air opera in the snow and visit a painter's studio, and 'storytelling' houses in Yangzhou. In the 18th century, China was arguably the greatest economy in the world, and we get a fabulous sense of the rich culture that came with prosperity. But then came the clash with the British, in the first Opium War, when a British expedition destroyed the Qing navy and extracted territory and trading rights. We leave with a glimpse of the future. 'Every dynasty has risen and declined,' says Michael, 'and has needed new life to regenerate, and this time the catalyst was the British.' Among the ports China ceded was an almost uninhabited island, Hong Kong, one of today's greatest financial centres, and Shanghai, a small town then but now one of the greatest cities in world.
Series: The Story of China

Twenty Feet from Stardom

   2013    Art
Millions know their voices, but no one knows their names. In his compelling film, award-winning director Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century.
Triumphant and heartbreaking in equal measure, the documentary is both a tribute to the unsung voices who brought shape and style to popular music and a reflection on the conflicts, sacrifices and rewards of a career spent harmonizing with others. These gifted artists span a range of styles, genres and eras of popular music, but each has a uniquely fascinating and personal story to share of life spent in the shadows of superstardom.
Along with rare archival footage and a peerless soundtrack, 20 Feet from Stardom boasts intimate interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger and Sting to name just a few. However, these world-famous figures take a backseat to the diverse array of backup singers whose lives and stories take center stage in the film.

Heroes of the Republic

       History
Vorenus and Pullo return to the Collegium in Rome with Vorenus' family, but some of the 'changes' that Pullo had warned him about regarding his two daughters Vorena both the Elder and Younger, as well as his wife's son, begin to manifest themselves into hostility and resentment.
But Vorenus is completely oblivious to this, and is too blissfully happy to return to the role of 'father'. Meanwhile, Octavian finally returns and manages to negotiate the Senate Consul's seat from a scheming Cicero.
Series: Rome Second Season

The Flu That Killed 50 Million

   2019    Medicine
It is 1918 and the end of WWI. Millions have died, and the world is exhausted by war. But soon a new horror is sweeping the world, a terrifying virus that will kill more than fifty million people - the Spanish flu. Using dramatic reconstruction and eyewitness testimony from doctors, soldiers, civilians and politicians, this one-off special brings to life the onslaught of the disease, the horrors of those who lived through it and the efforts of the pioneering scientists desperately looking for the cure.
Narrated by Christopher Eccleston, the film also asks whether, a century later, the lessons learnt in 1918 might help us fight a future global flu pandemic.

The Ram Has Touched the Wall

       History
Caesar contemplates Pompey's counteroffer but Mark Anthony wishes the war. Vorenus continues to struggle as a businessman and must reevaluate his career choice. Atia schemes to come between Caesar and Servilia and Pullo seeks Octavian's help.
Series: Rome
How to Grow a Planet
How to Grow a Planet

   2012    Science
Queen Live at Wembley Stadium
Queen Live at Wembley Stadium

   1986    Art
The Story of China
The Story of China

   2016    History
The Men Who Built America
The Men Who Built America

   2012    History
Motivation
Motivation

   2017    Culture
Walking with Cavemen
Walking with Cavemen

   2003    History
First Life
First Life

   2010    Science