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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

Star of Bethlehem

   2013    Science
A strange light in the heavens. The star that signals the birth of Jesus. Is it faith, fable, or fact? The star of Bethlehem is hard to identify thousands of years later. Can we decode the secret of the star with the science of the universe? What was it? Where did it come from? And will it return?
Discover an explanation by various astronomers and religion historians of what the star of Bethlehem really was based on available evidence.
Series: The Universe Season 7

The Reality of Truth

   2016    Culture
This highly controversial documentary explores the relationship between, Spirituality, Religion, and Psychedelics. Lead by 'Zappy' Zapolin, the film explores the many myths about reality, and includes first of its kind interviews with top spiritual gurus, celebrities, and people of all faiths, about this intriguing connection, and their personal experiences with spirituality and transcendence.
Throughout history human beings have searched for gateways to spirituality that have included meditation, prayer, and natural substances. The Judeo Christian religions, Vedic traditions, and Shamanistic rituals, all incorporate techniques focused on transcending. Today scientists are able to measure the effects, real and perceived, on the human brain and mind. By exploring how to use the current knowledge and techniques available to society, we can tap into true spirituality, and awakening.

Religulous

   2008    Culture
Political humorist and author Bill Maher travels around the globe interviewing people about God and religion. Known for his analytical skills, wit and commitment to never pulling a punch, Maher brings his characteristic honesty to an unusual spiritual journey.
Muslims, Jews and Christians of many kinds pass before his jaundiced eye. He goes to a Creationist Museum in Kentucky, which shows that dinosaurs and people lived at the same time 5000 years ago. Maher speaks to a rabbi in league with Holocaust deniers. He talks to a Muslim musician who preaches hatred of Jews. Maher finds the unlikeliest of believers and, in a certain Vatican priest, he even finds an unlikely skeptic.

One of Us

   2017    Culture
The film explores the opaque world of Hasidic Judaism through a cadre of fascinating characters. Through unique and intimate access over the span of three years, acclaimed observational filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady delve into the lives of three brave individuals who have recently made the decision to leave the insular ultra-orthodox community at the expense of all else, including relationships with their family members and--in one case--their personal safety.
With a sensitive and compassionate eye, One of Us chronicles the achingly cinematic journey of people in search of a personal freedom that comes only at a very high cost.
Superstructures: Engineering Marvels
Superstructures: Engineering Marvels

   2019    Technology
Seven Ages of Rock
Seven Ages of Rock

   2007    Art
The Universe Season 7
The Universe Season 7

   2014    Science
The Secrets of Quantum Physics
The Secrets of Quantum Physics

   2014    Science
The Art of Russia
The Art of Russia

   2009    Art
Wonders of Life
Wonders of Life

   2013    Science
The Mind of a Chef
The Mind of a Chef

   2017    Culture
Planet Earth II
Planet Earth II

   2016    Nature