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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

Life After People

   2008    Nature
Visit the ghostly villages surrounding Chernobyl (abandoned by humans after the 1986 nuclear disaster), travel to remote islands off the coast of Maine to search for abandoned towns that have vanished from view in only a few decades, then head beneath the streets of New York to see how subway tunnels may become watery canals. A visual journey, LIFE AFTER PEOPLE is a thought provoking adventure that combines movie-quality visual effects with insights from experts in the fields of engineering, botany, ecology, biology, geology, climatology, and archaeology to demonstrate how the very landscape of our planet will change in our absence.

Human

   2015    Culture
Filmmaker and artist Yann Arthus-Bertrand spent 3 years collecting real-life emotional stories from more than 2,000 women and men in 60 countries. Those emotions, those tears and smiles, those struggles and those laughs are the ones uniting us all. A combination of testimonies and exclusive aerial images, HUMAN is a unique documentary. This sensitive experience is an introspection into whom we are today as a community but also and most importantly as an individual. Through wars, inequalities, discriminations, HUMAN confronts us with the realities and the diversity of our human conditions. Beyond this darker side, testimonies show the empathy and the solidarities which we are capable of. All these contradictions are ours and HUMAN leads us to reflect about the future we wish to give to people and the planet today.

Upgrade

   2016    Technology
Technology is evolving from an external tool we wield when needed to an always-there presence that is with us, on us, even inside of us. As we become more and more wired, are we becoming digital devices ourselves? In this episode meet a Swedish mom who implanted an RFID chip as a lifestyle choice; a filmmaker who lost his eye in a gun accident and replaced it with a camera; and the so-called "world most connected man," who uses between 300-700 tracking and life logging systems to monitor every aspect of his life.
Series: Dark Net

Dark Net Rewire

   2016    Technology
The Internet enables us to connect with people, images and information in ways that were unimaginable 30 years ago. But with every click we are re-wiring the physical structure of our brains. Are we evolving or actively de-evolving down a dopamine-laced click-hole? In this episode meet a 17-year-old boy struggling with an addiction to online pornography; autistic technologists in Silicon Valley who are turning their genetic variation to an advantage; plus, Nootropics, a class of cognition-enhancing supplements that claims to rewire the brain.
Series: Dark Net
Planet Dinosaur
Planet Dinosaur

   2011    Science
Conquest of the Skies
Conquest of the Skies

   2015    Nature
Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places
Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places

   2016    Science
In Search of Beethoven
In Search of Beethoven

   2009    Art
The Human Body
The Human Body

   1998    Medicine
Dinosaur Planet
Dinosaur Planet

   2003    Science
Magic Numbers
Magic Numbers

   2018    Science
The Cell
The Cell

   2009    Science