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Simply the Best Documentaries

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Conquistadors: The Fall of the Aztecs
What the Health
Just Do It
Meet the Romans: All Roads Lead to Rome
The True Cost
Flight of the Butterflies
The Roof of the World
Addicted to Sexting
Africa the Greatest Show on Earth
The Last Reef
The Turning Point
WWII In 3D
Ocean Predators
Dawn Of Humanity
Top Science Stories of 2017
Pink Floyd: P. U. L. S. E. Live at Earls Court (I)
Bernini
Tales by Light Himalaya
Ancient Rome: Nero
Beyond the Big Bang
Hiding in the Light
The Lives of the Stars
The Wehrmacht The Blitzkrieg
Dirty Wars
Roving Mars
Zeitgeist The Movie
Through the Wormhole Season 6: Are We Here for a Reason
Indefensible
Asteroid Attack
Reagan Gorbachev and Third World: Rise Of The Right
Back in Time
Behind Closed Doors
Samurai Sword
Is Seeing Believing
Florence and the Uffizi Gallery
Whale Killer

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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

 
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