Simply the Best Documentaries

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A Passage to India
The Challenger
Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie
History of the Eagles 2
The Home
History of the Eagles 3 of 4
Kingdom of Plants Life in the Wet Zone
Ancient Rome: Nero
History of the Eagles 4 of 4
Blood Brother
The Moon
Hitting the Apex
Jason and the Golden Fleece
The Nazis, A Warning From History. Episode 2
Atom: The Key to the Cosmos
The life of Buddha
What is the Right Diet for You 3of3
Did Darwin kill God
Who are We
What the World is Waiting for - British Indie
Roving Mars
What is the Secret of Life
The Captains
Do You See What I See
Out of Sight
Hiding in the Light
The Cell: The Hidden Kingdom
Why We Ride
Extreme Orbits - Clockwork and Creation
Only the Dead
D-Day: As it Happens (1)
The World Set Free
In the Shadow of the Moon

Order by   Views  Year  New Added  Featured  Title

The Ming
The Ming 2016

The tale of one of China's most famous dynasties begins with the amazing story of Hongwu, a peasant rebel who founded one of greatest eras in Chinese history. The film takes us to his great capital Nanjing, with its 21 miles of walls, each brick stamped with the name of the village that made it. Following the trail, we go to the Bao family village and see the villagers act a Ming murder story. Like many authoritarian states, the Ming were obsessive about architecture. We see the giant fortifications of the Great Wall, the ritual enclaves of the Forbidden City in Beijing and travel with bargeman Mr Hu down the Grand Canal, China's great artery of commerce right up to the present day. We then hear about Admiral Zheng He's voyages to Africa and the Gulf decades before Columbus, watch the construction of an ocean-going wooden boat 250ft long, and hitch a ride on a replica Ming junk in the South China Sea. As state prosperity grew, so did a rising middle class. Wood looks at Ming culture in Suzhou, the 'Venice of China'. Staying in a merchant's house, he discovers the silk, ceramic and lacquer-making industries, and visits one of the most beautiful gardens in the city. Then on to Macao and the arrival of Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci, who hoped to convert China to Christianity. In the cathedral in Beijing, we learn more about these fateful exchanges with the west. Finally in Shaoxing, we visit the house of the 'Ming Proust' and at grassroots the Zhao family in Fujian where the film ends in an elegiac mood with the fall of the Ming in 1644.

Category:History  Duration:59:00   Series: The Story of China

Asia and Australia
Asia and Australia 2012

In this bird's-eye view of two continents, demoiselle cranes negotiate a dangerous Himalayan pass on their way to India while high-flying bar-headed geese take the fast track five miles above. In Rajasthan, vultures watch hunting tigers hoping for a meal and pigeons visit a temple dedicated solely to sacred rats. Pigeons are also our guide to the greatest gatherings of camels on Earth and learn to dodge buzzards around the battlements of Jodhpur Fort. 9,000 cranes overwinter in the most unlikely of spots - a barbed wire compound in the centre of a desert town. In Australia, rainbow lorikeets drop in on Sydney and patrol Australia's Gold Coast. In the outback, white cockatoos swirl in thousands and budgerigars pass Uluru (Ayers Rock) and gather in the biggest flocks ever recorded. In China, swallows and swifts visit the Great Wall and the Forbidden City of Beijing. In Japan, the country's most revered birds - Japanese cranes are fed fish by appreciative locals and are joined in strange, momentary harmony by hungry red foxes, white-tailed eagles and Steller's eagles. As peace descends, Japanese cranes dance beautifully in the snow.

Category:Nature  Duration:58:35   Series: Earthflight

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