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The Satanic Verses 30 Years On
The publication of Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses in 1988 sparked a culture war in Britain between those in the Muslim community, who considered the book blasphemous and called for the book to be banned, and those defending it as an expression of freedom of speech. Protests, which began in the north of England, soon spread across the UK and to the rest of the Islamic world, culminating in February 1989 with Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini issuing a fatwa - a death sentence on the writer.
Now, 30 years on, broadcaster and journalist Mobeen Azhar embarks on a journey, starting in his native Yorkshire where the protest first began, to examine the lasting effect the book has had on the Muslim community and how the events of 1989 continue to have an impact today.
H.O.P.E. What You Eat Matters
Half of the population in Western society suffers from being overweight. Cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes and cancer are epidemic. Our meat consumption has quintupled over the past 50 years. 65 billion land animals are being slaughtered every year for food consumption. One third of the global grain production is fed to animals for fattening while 1.8 billion people worldwide suffer from hunger and starvation. Can there really be a solution to all these problems?
H.O.P.E. is a life-changing documentary uncovering and revealing the effects of our typical Western diet high in animal-based foods. It contrasts the limited interests of the pharmaceutical and agricultural industry with the all-encompassing interests of living beings on this planet and with the power of responsible consumer action. H.O.P.E. is an urgent call to action to all of us to commit to a change towards sustainability and safeguarding our living environment.
Who Wants to be a Bitcoin Millionaire
Bitcoin is the world's leading virtual currency, but unlike real money, it is not backed by a government or properly regulated. Bitcoin is exchanged and held digitally by users - which is attractive to criminals selling drugs, pornography and arms. But now Bitcoin is moving into the mainstream and being openly marketed as an investment opportunity. The film investigates what Bitcoin is and what it means, going inside a Bitcoin mine in Iceland - where currency is made - and spending time with the Bitcoin millionaires of Silicon Valley.
The programme also hears from others who have been scammed out of their life savings and investors who think the cryptocurrency is an enormous scam and that the writing is on the wall. Around the world, authorities are sounding the alarm that Bitcoin is too risky - is it too late, or too crazy, to try to become a Bitcoin millionaire?
Man First Friend
We call them 'man’s best friend', but their story is almost as old as man himself. Our very first friend in the world, they have walked by our side for over 20,000 years, helping us to hunt for food and offering us companionship and protection. Man’s First Friend is an epic new primetime documentary event that combines natural history, science and anthropology to explore the enduring relationship between humankind and dogs, how the two species have co-evolved together, where did they come from to take such a prominent position in our lives, and how did we learn to harness their unique talents.
The film takes viewers on an extraordinary journey through some of the most remote locations in the world to answers these questions and more. It highlights what dogs are capable of: from the Pariah dog in India who protects her owner’s banana plantations from daily attacks by Black-headed Monkeys; to Kenyan Bloodhounds trained to track ivory poachers. Dogs comfort us, relieving loneliness and helping us cope with old age.
The film uses drones, hidden and handheld cameras to expose the dark underbelly of modern animal agriculture, questioning the morality and validity of humankind's dominion over the animal kingdom. While mainly focusing on animals used for food, it also explores other ways animals are exploited and abused by humans, including clothing, entertainment and research.
In words of its writer & director, Chris Delforce, 'Dominion to me is the idea of one group or entity exercising control, power or authority over another, under the belief that they have the right to do so. Often this belief seems to stem from the perception of self-superiority and that might equals right. Through this film I challenge both the notion that animals are inferior, and that we as humans have the right to use and treat them as we please for our own ends – and I briefly examine how this superiority complex has and continues to complement some of humanity's darkest ideologies, asking viewers to consider the similarities between racism, sexism and speciesism.'
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