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Silk Roads and China Ships

   2016    History
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.
Series: The Story of China

The Story of China Ancestors

   2016    History
Michael Wood embarks on a great historical adventure, exploring the stories, people and landscapes that have helped create China's distinctive character and genius over four thousand years. Is the history of the world's newest superpower, from its ancient past to the present day.
Starting in Wuxi, Michael joins the Qin family reunion, when 300 relatives gather to worship their ancestors on Tomb Sweeping Day. 'Like the nation, the family has been through so much,' one says. 'Now everyone wants to know - what are our roots?'
Looking for the origins of the Chinese state, he visits the excavations at Erlitou and sees an exquisite turquoise dragon sceptre from 2000 BC. China's first writing is found on 'oracle bones' dug up from the Shang royal tombs at Anyang in the 1920s. At the Beijing Planetarium, Michael travels back in time as astronomers plot the planetary conjunction that the ancients believed foretold the overthrow of the Shang Dynasty. Next, the Age of Philosophers and Confucius, whose book Analects has had greater influence worldwide than even the Bible, according to some. In Xi'an, we hear how the First Emperor united China and created the authoritarian Qin state that gave us the word China. Finally, Michael returns to the temple fair in Henan for a dramatic night ceremony to give thanks to the ancestors. China, Michael concludes, is rising again, not just because of its economic strength, but because of the incredible solidarity of the Han Chinese view of their own civilisation, their sense of family and, of course, the presence of the ancestors.
Series: The Story of China

Colourful Planet

   2019    Nature    HD
From space, Earth is a kaleidoscope. Turquoise plankton blooms trigger a feeding frenzy, China turns yellow with rapeseed flowers, and mysterious green lights appear in the ocean. Satellites give us a new perspective on its greatest and most beautiful spectacles allowing us to make new discoveries We can watch landscapes change through the seasons and marvel in the scale of their transformations.
Satellite cameras capture a kaleidoscope of extraordinary colours surprising and constantly changing, created by natural phenomena, by animals and by people. These colours are revealing new insight into the health of our fragile planet, transforming our understanding of our colourful home.
Series: Earth from Space

Dream Big

   2017    Technology    3D
The film is a first of its kind that will transform how we think about engineering. From the Great Wall of China and the world's tallest buildings to underwater robots, solar cars and smart, sustainable cities, DREAM BIG celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small, and shows how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways.
With its inspiring stories of human grit and aspiration, and extraordinary visuals , the film reveals the compassion and creativity that drive engineers to create better lives for people and a more sustainable future for us all. Narrated by Jeff Bridges.

Earth From Space

   2018    Nature    HD
In just half a century, the human population has doubled to 7.4 billion, and during that time, astronaut and satellite photos have been capturing the startling changes on our planet. See how humans have made their mark reshaping the planet in our quest for new sources of food, power, and shelter.
From glimmering new megacities like Shenzhen, China to areas affected by climate change like Mt. Kilimanjaro and Florida, witness Earth's changing look--the spectacular and the shocking--from 250 miles up.
Natural World
Natural World

   2017    Nature
The Private Life of Plants
The Private Life of Plants

   1994    Nature
The Big Think
The Big Think

   2017    Technology
Planet Earth
Planet Earth

   2007    Nature
The Human Body
The Human Body

   1998    Medicine
The Sky at Night
The Sky at Night

   2015    Culture
Life
Life

   2009    Nature