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The Story of the Jews: In the Beginning

   2013    History
With optional Hebrew subtitles. Simon Schama explores the history of the Jewish experience from ancient times to the present day. This programme begins the tale 3,000 years ago, with the emergence of a tribal people in a contested land and their extraordinary book, the Hebrew Bible, a chronicle of their stormy relationship with a faceless, formless, jealous God. It was loyalty to this 'God of Words' that defined the distinct identity of the ancient Jews and preserved it despite all that history could throw their way". The story unfolds with a dazzling cast of historical characters: Sigmund Freud dying in exile in London; Victorian evangelicals and explorers following 'in the footsteps' of Moses; Jewish mercenaries living, prospering and intermarrying in the pagan land of Egypt; Messianic Jews dreaming of the Apocalypse; and a Jewish historian, Josephus, who witnessed first-hand the moment when the apocalypse finally came and the Romans destroyed the Jewish High Temple in Jerusalem.
Series: The Story of the Jews

Childbirth: All or Nothing

   2015    Medicine
What's your idea of the perfect birth? Do you want every medical intervention known to science or do you want to go it alone, without the help of a doctor or midwife? And what about after birth? Perhaps you'll hang on to your baby's placenta and carry it around with your newborn until it dries and drops off naturally? Or maybe you'll decide to eat it by whizzing it up into a smoothie? This film follows four pregnant women all making very different choices around their births, all determined to do it their way." 37-year-old Jo plans to deliver her baby completely alone on board her barge, without the assistance of any medical professional. By contrast, 34-year-old Anna is opting to sidestep the pains of labour and book in for a c-section at the Portland Hospital in London. Anna wants all the medication available and she doesn't want to feel a thing. There are plenty of unusual plans for after the birth too. In Devon, 33-year-old Lisa plans to lotus birth - she'll leave her baby's umbilical cord attached to its placenta and she'll keep it fresh by dusting it with salt, rose petals and lavender oil. 35-year-old Kati from Manchester is going to whizz her afterbirth into a smoothie and consume it over a number of days. She hopes it will help her stave off post-natal baby blues and bounce back as quickly as possible. Fending off bewildered looks and concerns from friends, family and medical professionals, each woman is going against convention to have the birth she wants. There are free and frank discussions between mums and daughters and decisions to go against medical advice. So does breaking with the norm and sticking to your guns pay off? And what really is the perfect birth?

The Joy of Mozart

   2015    Art
Tom Service plunges into the life and times of Mozart to try and rediscover the greatness and humanity of the living man in his moment. Mozart's prodigious output and untimely death have helped place him on a pedestal that can often blind us to the unique brilliance of his work in the context of his life and times. Service visits the key cities and rooms in which Mozart lived and worked, plays some of Mozart's original instruments and scores, and gradually uncovers the brilliance and originality of his work." There is the prodigious childhood when Mozart was feted as an infant phenomenon around Europe's most glittering courts, and his golden decade in Vienna in which masterpiece followed masterpiece - operas, symphonies, piano concertos, string quartets - as if this short, high-voiced man-child must have been taking dictation from some divine source, until his death at the age of just 35 in 1791. Even more than the music, Mozart's tragic demise sets the seal on his myth. The trajectory of Mozart's life sets the template for the romantic paradigm whose throes we are still in today, which requires our creative heroes to die young to prove that they were too good for this madding world, whether it be Wolfgang Amadeus or Jimi Hendrix. Service travels from London to Vienna and Salzberg, unpicking the living, breathing genius that was Mozart. With Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Nicola Benedetti, Paul Morley and others.

The Art of Russia: Out of the Forest

   2009    Art
Art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon tells the incredible story of Russian art, its mystery and magnificence and until now a story untold. He explores the origins of the Russian icon from its roots in Byzantium and the first great Russian icon, Our Lady of Vladimir to the masterpieces of the country's most famous icon painter, Andrei Rublev. Both epic and awe-inspiring, and producing brilliant art", nevertheless medieval Russia could be a terrifying place. Criss-crossing the epic landscape, Andrew visits the monastery founded by Ivan the Terrible, where his favourite forms of torture found inspiration in religious art. One man would shine a light into Russia's 'dark' ages - Peter the Great who, surprisingly, took as his inspiration Deptford in South London.
Series: The Art of Russia

A Night With The Stars

   2011    Science
For one night only, Professor Brian Cox goes unplugged in a specially recorded programme from the lecture theatre of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. In his own inimitable style, Brian takes an audience of famous faces, scientists and members of the public on a journey through some of the most challenging concepts in physics. With the help of Jonathan Ross, Simon Pegg, Sarah Millican and James May, Brian shows how diamonds - the hardest material in nature - are made up of nothingness; how things can be in an infinite number of places at once; why everything we see or touch in the universe exists; and how a diamond in the heart of London is in communication with the largest diamond in the cosmos.
The Story of God
The Story of God

   2016    Culture
Racism: A History
Racism: A History

   2007    Culture
Zeitgeist
Zeitgeist

   2007    Culture
P.U.L.S.E
P.U.L.S.E

   2006    Art
Invisible Worlds
Invisible Worlds

   2010    Science
Japan Earth Enchanted Islands
Japan Earth Enchanted Islands

   2017    Nature
Natural World
Natural World

   2017    Nature
Breakthrough
Breakthrough

   2015    Medicine