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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.
The Story of China
Florence and the Uffizi Gallery
2016 Art 3D
This film is a multi-dimensional journey through the city that was once the cradle of the Italian Renaissance. Get an exclusive tour through the most beautiful and representative works of art of the period from Michelangelo and Brunelleschi, to Leonardo and Botticelli, with a detailed central chapter dedicated to the very treasure house containing their masterpieces: the Uffizi Gallery. This also includes the breathtaking 'Adoration of the Mag' by Leonardo Da Vinci, which, after several years of restoration, will be brought back to life and unveiled in this worldwide exclusive premiere on the big screen.
St Peter and the Papal Basilicas of Rome
2016 Art 3D
After the success of Florence and the Uffizi, a new film production by Sky 3D and the Vatican Television Centre, taking you on a journey through the four Papal Basilicas in Rome and their treasures: St. Peter’s (one of the 25 destinations most visited by travellers from all over the world), St. John in the Lateran, St. Mary Major and St. Paul Outside the Walls. Four majestic buildings – each with a precious papal altar, each a treasure trove of timeless works of art and a destination for millions of travellers and pilgrims over the centuries – play the leading role in a new film tour that has been recognized as a work of cultural interest by the film board of the Ministry of Culture, Heritage and Tourism.
The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg is one of the largest and most visited museums in the world. Margy Kinmonth's film tells the story of its journey from imperial palace to state museum, investigating remarkable tales of dedication, devotion, ownership and ultimate sacrifice, showing how the collection came about, how it survived tumultuous revolutionary times and what makes the Hermitage unique today. Holding over three million objects and boasting more curators than any other museum, the Hermitage's story is Russia's history in microcosm and its art has lived to tell the tale
Petra: Lost City of Stone
More than 2,000 years ago, the thriving city of Petra rose up in the bone-dry desert of what is now Jordan. An oasis of culture and abundance, the city was built by wealthy merchants whose camel caravans transported incense and spices from the Arabian Gulf. They carved spectacular temple-tombs into its soaring cliffs, raised a monumental Great Temple at its heart, and devised an ingenious system that channeled water to vineyards, bathhouses, fountains, and pools. But following a catastrophic earthquake and a slump in its desert trade routes, Petra's unique culture faded and was lost to most of the world for nearly a thousand years. Now, in a daring experiment, an archaeologist and sculptors team up to carve an iconic temple-tomb to find out how the ancient people of Petra built their city of stone. Meanwhile, scientists using remote sensors and hydraulic flumes uncover the vast city and its sophisticated water system. The race is on to discover how these nomads created this oasis of culture in one of the harshest climates on Earth.
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