Simply the best Documentaries
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Hidden Worlds 3D Caves of the Dead
The Incredible Human Journey: Australia
Why Islamic State expands so quickly
Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know It
Gravity and Me The Force that Shapes our Lives
Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie
The Story of the Jews: In the Beginning
Unlocking the Great Pyramid
Magic Money The Bitcoin Revolution
Planet Earth II Cities
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Deliver Us from Drought
'Deliver Us from Drought' - Over the past years, Texas has experienced the worst drought in its recorded history. 97% of the scientific community agrees that human activity has contributed to extreme weather patterns around the world. But many Texans--legislators, community leaders and citizens--don't attribute their drought to humans, and have taken few if any initiatives to limit the state's CO2 emissions, currently the highest in the country. "The Resource Curse" - As humanity's appetite for energy grows exponentially, the extraction industry scrambles to the most remote regions on Earth. In the undeveloped Melanesian country of Papua New Guinea, America's Exxon Mobil has staked its claim to a $19 billion liquid natural-gas project. While some see Exxon's mammoth presence as the catalyst that will usher the underdeveloped country into the 21st Century, others predict the initiative could plunge its people into civil war.
Austrian director Michael Glawogger travels to five countries to focus on some of the worst jobs imaginable: Ukrainian miners crawl into tiny cracks in old coal pits to scratch out a few bags of winter fuel; Indonesian workers trudge long distances carrying baskets with hundreds of pounds of sulfur chunks extracted from a steaming mountain; Pakistanis risk explosions and burial under tons of scrap iron as they dismantle huge carrier ships. The visuals are everything here. Despite the hardships depicted, many sequences have a dreamlike beauty. In addition, the director has a bone-dry sense of irony; during the Ukraine scenes, he frequently cuts away to a statue of Stakhanov, the "hero" lauded by the Soviets for his superhuman work habits. He also shows us an old German smelting works that's been converted into a theme park.
Silk Roads and China Ships
Michael Wood tells the tale of China's first great international age under the Tang Dynasty (618-907). From the picturesque old city of Luoyang, he travels along the Silk Road to the bazaars of central Asia and into India on the track of the Chinese monk who brought Buddhism back to China. This tale is still loved by the Chinese today and is brought to life by storytellers, films and shadow puppet plays. Then in the backstreets and markets of Xi'an, Michael meets descendants of the traders from central Asia and Persia who came into China on the Silk Road. He talks to Chinese Muslims in the Great Mosque and across town hears the amazing story of the first reception of Christianity in 635. Moving south, Michael sees the beginnings of China as an economic giant. On the Grand Canal, a lock built in 605 still handles 800 barges every day! The film tracks the rise of the silk industry and the world's favourite drink - tea. Michael looks too at the spread of Chinese script, language and culture across east Asia. 'China's influence on the East was as profound as Rome on the Latin West', he says, 'and still is today'. Finally, the film tells the intense drama of the fall of the Tang. Among the eyewitnesses were China's greatest poets. In a secondary school in a dusty village, where the Chinese Shakespeare - Du Fu - is buried in the grounds, the pupils take Michael through one famous poem about loss and longing as the dynasty falls. And in that ordinary classroom, there is a sense of the amazing drama and the deep-rooted continuities of Chinese culture.
The Story of China
The title of Ava DuVernay's extraordinary and galvanizing documentary refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads 'Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.' The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis.
In the second episode, Andrew Carnegie builds an empire around steel, but finds himself struggling to save face after the ruthless tactics of his business partner, Henry Frick, result in both the Johnstown Flood as well as the bloody 1892 strike at the Homestead Steel Works.
The Men Who Built America
The Story of the Jews
The Story of India
A History of Christianity
Conquest of the Skies
Shine a Light
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