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The History of the Red Army

   2022    History
The fascinating history of the military force of the Soviet Union. For 70 years, the Red Army was one of the foundations of the USSR, an instrument of fear as well as admiration, a symbol of liberation as well as coercion. While everyone knows that Trotsky's name is attached to its creation, most of its past is made up of military defeats and failures, contrary to the common idea. This documentary explores its history, combining epic narrative and deconstruction of the myth.

Putin and Company

   2018    History
Although the end of the Soviet Union also meant the end of the KGB, it did not mean the end of secret service activities. FSB and the foreign intelligence service SVR took over the tasks. Under the secret service officer Vladimir Putin, the tasks of the secret service were redefined, and digital age with the Internet brought new possibilities for internal and external espionage and for the manipulation of public opinion.
Coup d'etats, assassinations, sex scandals, radioactive poisoning....it's the stuff of a Bond movie. But in today's Russia, it's all very real. Under Vladimir Putin, the FSB rules Russia with an iron rod directly from the Kremlin. To challenge its authority, even from apparent safety abroad, means risking your life. The KGB has even managed to outlive communism itself. Today, Russia is no longer a State with a Security Service: instead, the Security Service has a State.
Series: KGB: The Sword and the Shield

Dzerzhinsky and Company

   2018    History
For the past century, Russian history has also been the history of its security services. They were used by the Soviet state to crush dissent. Millions suffered at their hands. Mass executions, secret wars, spies capable of stealing the atomic bomb, poisoning scandals all add up to the most extraordinary and dangerous security network the world has ever known. But even today, the security network is arguably stronger than ever. This is the History of the KGB, told through its veterans and its victims.
Founded in 1917, Cheka was the predecessor organization of the KGB. Set up as a 'temporary' measure by Lenin, unknown number of Soviet citizens would die at the hands of the secret services as internal dissents in the 1920s. An inglorious chapter is the "Great Terror" phase, when millions of Soviet citizens were convicted and executed in mock trials under Stalin's rule in the 1930s. Outside the Soviet Union, during the WWII they were busy infiltrating German High Command, British Intelligence and America's Manhattan Project. The Cold War had begun in earnest.
Series: KGB: The Sword and the Shield

Last Days of the USSR

       History
Moscow, 31 December 1991: the Red Flag of the Kremlin is pulled down and replaced by the three-coloured banner of Russia, marking the end of the Soviet Union and of its ideologies. Illustrated with testimonies of top protagonists and Mikhail Gorbachev himself, the documentary recounts, day by day, the critical last two years that led to the fall of the largest and one of the most totalitarian empires of the 20th century.

The Rise of Putin

   2020    History
A definitive account of Putin's power and how it changed the modern world. The series is an exploration of how Vladimir Putin brought his knowledge of spy-craft to bear on his leadership of Russia, how his personal experiences have influenced his politics and how modern Russia has been created through an acute sense of betrayal, pride and anger.
The first episode takes viewers on a journey into the mind of one of the 21st century's most influential leaders, offering a portrait of a politician who modelled himself on the Russian James Bond and whose presidency reads like a spy thriller. We will see how Putin escapes poverty by joining the KGB, his reinvention as a political fixer in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union and how he gets into position to take over from President Yeltsin.
Series: Putin: A Russian Spy Story

Over the Rainbow

   2013    Culture
With optional Hebrew subtitles. Simon Schama's history of the Jewish experience plunges into the lost world of the shtetl, the Jewish towns and villages sewn across the hinterlands of Eastern Europe which became the seedbed of a uniquely Jewish culture. Shtetl culture would make its mark on the modern world, from the revolutionary politics of the Soviet Union to the mass culture of Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood. It was also the birthplaces of Hasidism, the most visible, iconic and, arguably, most misunderstood expression of Jewish faith and fervour. This chapter of the story travels from the forests of Lithuania, where Simon's own family logged wood and fought wolves, to the streets of the Lower East Side where the sons of shtetl immigrants wrote the American songbook. With grim inevitability, the story returns to Eastern Europe in 1940 - where the genocidal mechanisms of the 'final solution' were beginning to grind the shtetl world into dust and ash.
Series: The Story of the Jews
Secrets of the Dead

Secrets of the Dead

2017  History
Minimalism

Minimalism

2015  Culture
Planet Earth

Planet Earth

2007  Nature
Planet Earth

Planet Earth

2007  Nature
Untold

Untold

2021  Culture
Prehistoric Planet

Prehistoric Planet

2022  Science