Last Watched

"Modern"  Sort by

Roads to Revolution

   2009    Art
Andrew Graham-Dixon explores how Russia changed from a feudal nation of aristocratic excess to a hotbed of revolution at the beginning of the 20th century and how art moved from being a servant of the state to an agent of its destruction. From monuments that celebrate the absolutism of the tsars to the epic Russian landscape as inspiration; from the design and construction of gold and glittering palaces to the minutiae of diamond-encrusted Faberge eggs; and eventually to the stark and radical paintings of the avant-garde, the journey through Russian art history is one of extraordinary beauty and surprise.
Series: The Art of Russia

In the Shadow of Hitler

   2010    Art
There is a tendency to deny German culture the equal reverence of Italy or Spain, and this enlightening new series provides a wonderful opportunity to explore a great, yet often neglected, artistic tradition whose influence has been just as profound. Andrew Graham-Dixon concludes his exploration of German art by investigating the dark and difficult times of the 20th century. Dominating the landscape is the figure of Adolf Hitler, failed artist, would-be architect and obsessed with the aesthetics of his 1,000-year Reich". In a series of extraordinary building projects and exhibitions, Hitler waged a propaganda war against every form of modern art as a prelude to unleashing total war on the whole of Europe. After the war the shadow of the Third Reich persisted, Germany remained divided and traumatised. How would artists deal with a past that everybody wanted to forget? Journeying through the work of Otto Dix and George Grosz and the age of the Bauhaus to the post-war painters Georg Baselitz, Hilla Becher and the conceptual artist Joseph Beuys is a long and strange journey, but the signs that art has a place at the heart of the new reunited Germany are clearly visible.
Series: The Art of Germany

A Leap of Faith

   2013    History
With optional Hebrew subtitles. This episode explores how the spread of the Enlightenment brought ghetto walls around Europe crashing down and allowed Jews to join the wider fabric of modern life in Europe in unprecedented ways. This Jewish renaissance saw Giacomo Meyerbeer and Felix Mendelssohn to establish the enduring tradition for Jewish musical prodigies. However the integration of Jewish talent into the mainstream of European culture and commerce eventually stirred up ancient prejudice, expressed in the new fashion of Romantic nationalism and the pseudo-science of anti-semitism.
Series: The Story of the Jews

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

Just Do It

   2011    Culture
'Just Do It: A Tale of Modern-day Outlaws' lifts the lid on climate activism and the daring troublemakers who have crossed the line to become modern-day outlaws. Documented over a year, Emily James' film follows these activists as they blockade factories, attack coal power stations and glue themselves to the trading floors of international banks despite the very real threat of arrest.
Myths and Heroes
Myths and Heroes

   2005    History
The Men Who Built America
The Men Who Built America

   2012    History
Pets: Wild at Heart
Pets: Wild at Heart

   2015    Nature
The Universe
The Universe

   2010    Science
The Life of Mammals
The Life of Mammals

   2002    Nature
The Story of Maths
The Story of Maths

   2008    Science
How Art Made the World
How Art Made the World

   2006    Art
Breakthrough
Breakthrough

   2015    Medicine