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Enemies And Traitors

   2020    History
This second instalment looks at how Vladimir Putin arrived in the Kremlin as a vulnerable and unknown president, whom the Russian oligarchs expect to control. The programme reveals how he asserted his hold on power and ultimately surrounded himself with his KGB peers, as well as his philosophy as regards traitors and enemies. The film also examines the stories of businessman Boris Berezovsky and defector Alexander Litvinenko, who both stood up to Putin and wound up dead on British soil.
Series: Putin: A Russian Spy Story

Putin Forever

   2020    History
Putin returns to power under a storm after a four-year absence, but his attempts to improve his popularity are hobbled by accusations of corruption. The final part of this sinister history doesn’t quite come up to date with Vladimir Putin’s recent moves to 'reset' the Russian constitution so he can rule, theoretically, until at least 2036 – longer than Stalin. But it does walk us through some of his other moves to entrench power, including vote-rigging in parliamentary elections that was so brazen, his approval ratings fell amid mass street protests. Leading the protests was opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was then simply gunned down on a street near the Kremlin.
These days, we are told, the world stage interests Putin more than the Russian one, and with various 'mini-Putins' installed around the world, his legacy looks safe.
Series: Putin: A Russian Spy Story

Humboldt Epic Explorer

   2020    History
In 1799, the German scientist Alexander von Humboldt embarked on a perilous journey of discovery across South America. It would take him to the deepest jungle near the Orinoco and to the heights of the Andes. His aim was twofold: to conduct the first scientific survey of South America and to discover how the natural world actually works — at a time when most scientists believed that the world was created less than 6,000 years ago. He later became a leading scientific figure and champion of the abolitionist movement in the US.
This extremely visual docudrama follows Humboldt’s extraordinary path. Travelling in Humboldt’s footsteps is historian Andrea Wulf, whose book on Humboldt became a worldwide bestseller. For good reason, since Humboldt’s ideas on the planet’s fragile web of life are as important today as they were 220 years ago.

Changing the Script

   2020    History
The written word is so important in everyday life that there can be few more radical acts than forcing an entire nation to learn a new script. Yet that is what happened in Turkey in 1928 when Mustafa Kemal decreed that the Arabic script would be replaced by the letters of the Latin alphabet. Communication with computers using human language is usually made with Latin letters. This is how most Chinese people interact with their computers and smart phones, using a Latin-based phonetic script called Pinyin. As a result, even highly educated Chinese are losing the ability to write using Chinese characters. Could what is happening in China be the future of writing everywhere?
Series: The Secret History of Writing

Boys State

   2020    Culture
Boys State is a wildly entertaining and continually revealing immersion into a week-long annual program in which a thousand Texas high school seniors gather for an elaborate mock exercise: building their own state government.
Filmmakers closely track the escalating tensions that arise within a particularly riveting gubernatorial race, training their cameras on unforgettable teenagers like Ben, a Reagan-loving arch-conservative who brims with confidence despite personal setbacks, and Steven, a progressive-minded child of Mexican immigrants who stands by his convictions amidst the sea of red. In the process, they have created a complex portrait of contemporary American masculinity, as well as a microcosm of our often dispiriting national political divisions that nevertheless manages to plant seeds of hope.
Directed and produced by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine, the film won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020.
Dirty Money
Dirty Money

   2018    Culture
Leaving Neverland
Leaving Neverland

   2019    Culture
Top Gear
Top Gear

   2012    Technology
Enemies of Reason
Enemies of Reason

      Medicine
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2014    Culture
Black Hole Apocalypse
Black Hole Apocalypse

   2018    Science
Planet Earth II
Planet Earth II

   2016    Nature
Rome Second Season
Rome Second Season

      History