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Changing the Script

   2020    History
The written word is so important in everyday life that there can be few more radical acts than forcing an entire nation to learn a new script. Yet that is what happened in Turkey in 1928 when Mustafa Kemal decreed that the Arabic script would be replaced by the letters of the Latin alphabet. Communication with computers using human language is usually made with Latin letters. This is how most Chinese people interact with their computers and smart phones, using a Latin-based phonetic script called Pinyin. As a result, even highly educated Chinese are losing the ability to write using Chinese characters. Could what is happening in China be the future of writing everywhere?
Series: The Secret History of Writing

Showbiz Kids

   2020    Culture
A documentary about the highs and lows of children in show business, featuring interviews and examinations of the lives and careers of the most famous former child actors in the world. The film opens with a montage spotlighting most of those people, along with others who had better luck (like Ron Howard, Jodie Foster, and Daniel Radcliffe), finally landing on a photograph of the documentary’s director, Alex Winter, who was a child actor on and off Broadway.
The reality of child stardom is that an essential unreality is baked into it. That‘s why it’s so often about the wheels coming off at high speeds. Child stardom now feels like one of the last aspirations of a decadent, no-future America. And 'Showbiz Kids' is an invaluable primer of its risks and rewards.

China Coronavirus Cover-Up

   2020    Medicine
Did China hide crucial information about Covid-19 from the world? What began with a handful of mystery pneumonia cases in Wuhan late last year has now left more than half a million dead worldwide. Beijing says it has been open and transparent throughout, but former BBC China Editor Carrie Gracie investigates how it delayed reporting the initial outbreak and evidence that Covid-19 could be spread by people. It also silenced doctors who tried to speak out.
The film also hears from one high-level insider who believes the animal market at the centre of the Wuhan outbreak should have been treated as a 'crime scene' and from experts who warn that this crisis may be a 'dress rehearsal' for an even more deadly pandemic in the future.

Forests

   2019    Nature    HD
The last episode examines the fragile interdependence that exists between forests' wide variety of residents, including bald eagles, hunting dogs and Siberian tigers.
Over half of all the world's trees, evergreen and deciduous, stand in great assemblies. For many of us, they are places of mystery and darkness. They are key to our climate, and home to countless unique species. The boreal forest contains 750 billion trees, and it stores over 40 percent of the world's carbon, making it a vital element in the fight against climate change. In the past, we have destroyed them without hesitation. Yet, forests do have an astonishing ability to recover. If we choose to give forests time and space, they could reclothe the earth with much of the rich and varied communities of animals and plants of which we have, so recently, robbed it. A future with more forests is key to the resilience of our planet.
Series: Our Planet

Hunting for Martian Life. The Perseverance Rover

   2020    Technology    HD
Meet Perseverance, NASA's latest rover, as it heads to Mars to answer one question: did life exist on the red planet? On the way, it will lay the foundation for human exploration of our closest neighbour.
Today, Mars is hostile to life. It's too cold for water to stay liquid on the surface, and the thin atmosphere lets through high levels of radiation, potentially sterilizing the upper part of the soil. But it wasn't always like this. Some 3.5 billion years ago or more, water was flowing on the surface. It carved channels still visible today and pooled in impact craters. A thicker carbon dioxide atmosphere would have blocked more of the harmful radiation. The Mars 2020/Perseverance rover is designed to better understand the geology of Mars and seek signs of ancient life. The mission will collect and store a set of rock and soil samples that could be returned to Earth in the future. It will also test new technology to benefit future robotic and human exploration of Mars, as the Ingenuity Helicopter.
Chef's Table
Chef's Table

   2017    Art
The Nazis, A Warning From History
The Nazis, A Warning From History

   1997    History
Conquistadors
Conquistadors

   2002    History
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2014    Culture
Blue Planet II
Blue Planet II

   2017    Nature
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

   2014    Science
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture