Simply the Best Documentaries

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Life: Challenges of Life
From Pole to Pole
Walking with Cavemen: First Ancestors
Shaolin Bootcamp
The Story of Snowboarding
Ice Worlds
Happy People A Year in the Taiga
Planet Dinosaur Ultimate Killers
Living in Space
Smashing the Mould
The Nazis, A Warning From History. Episode 3
The Hunt The Hardest Challenge
Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie
Clash of the Gods: Hercules
The Day they Dropped the Bomb
When Knowledge Conquered Fear
Killing Kennedy
Neanderthal 1
The Birth of Israel
The Cities
Living Together
In the Shadow of Hitler
Inside the Brain of a Trader
Becoming Human: First Steps
Hiding in the Light
The Great Burden
Ancient Rome: Constantine
A LEGO Brickumentary
Atlantis Found
Planet Ant Life inside the Colony
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Standing Up in the Milky Way
Blood Of The Vikings: The Sea Road
Holy War
Video Games: The Movie
Parallel Universes

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Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams
Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams 2013

Professor Simon Schaffer presents the amazing and untold story of automata - extraordinary clockwork machines designed hundreds of years ago to mimic and recreate life. The film brings the past to life in vivid detail as we see how and why these masterpieces were built. Travelling around Europe, Simon uncovers the history of these machines and shows us some of the most spectacular examples, from an entire working automaton city to a small boy who can be programmed to write and even a device that can play chess". All the machines Simon visits show a level of technical sophistication and ambition that still amazes today. As well as the automata, Simon explains in great detail the world in which they were made - the hardship of the workers who built them, their role in global trade and the industrial revolution and the eccentric designers who dreamt them up. Finally, Simon reveals that to us that these long-forgotten marriages of art and engineering are actually the ancestors of many of our most loved modern technologies, from recorded music to the cinema and much of the digital world.

Category:Technology  Duration:59:00   

In the Shadow of Hitler
In the Shadow of Hitler 2010

There is a tendency to deny German culture the equal reverence of Italy or Spain, and this enlightening new series provides a wonderful opportunity to explore a great, yet often neglected, artistic tradition whose influence has been just as profound. Andrew Graham-Dixon concludes his exploration of German art by investigating the dark and difficult times of the 20th century. Dominating the landscape is the figure of Adolf Hitler, failed artist, would-be architect and obsessed with the aesthetics of his 1,000-year Reich". In a series of extraordinary building projects and exhibitions, Hitler waged a propaganda war against every form of modern art as a prelude to unleashing total war on the whole of Europe. After the war the shadow of the Third Reich persisted, Germany remained divided and traumatised. How would artists deal with a past that everybody wanted to forget? Journeying through the work of Otto Dix and George Grosz and the age of the Bauhaus to the post-war painters Georg Baselitz, Hilla Becher and the conceptual artist Joseph Beuys is a long and strange journey, but the signs that art has a place at the heart of the new reunited Germany are clearly visible.

Category:Art  Duration:59:00   Series: The Art of Germany

The Knowledge of Healing
The Knowledge of Healing 1998

The documentary 'The Knowledge of Healing' is an illuminating examination of Tibetan medicine, a practice which has developed over two millennia into a modern day successful method of healing that rivals western medical practices. Unlike Western medicine, based on biochemistry, Tibetan medical thinking (which is strongly rooted in Buddhist principles) views the human body as governed by an elaborately organized system of energies flowing through a network of channels. In the 12th century, the Gyüshi (Knowledge of Healing) was created, a text codifying this intricate system. The medications used comprise herbs, roots, minerals, etc. After flourishing for centuries, most Tibetan medical schools were destroyed by the Chinese in the 1950's and 1960's, and many physicians were executed. Speaking from exile, the Dalai Lama argues for the value of Tibetan medicine, while his personal physician Dr. Tenzin Choedrak describes the principles behind it. We follow physicians in India and Siberia treating patients for a variety of ailments from paralysis to heart disease, and meet researchers in Israel and Switzerland to see how western clinical studies are testing the effectiveness of Tibetan medicine.

Category:Medicine  Duration:01:29:00   

Restrepo 2010

It is fairly extraordinary that this film exists. The level of access attained by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger over their 15-month period embedded with the Second Platoon, Battle Company, 173rd Airborne Brigade allows for an incredibly unvarnished account -- including footage of deaths both civilian and military. It's perhaps the most intimate and unflinching examination yet of the processes of modern warfare -- and an exhilarating, heartrending, profoundly moving film in its own right.

Category:History  Duration:01:36:00   

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