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Most people believe zombies are a recent phenomenon that grew out of comic books, movies and TV. The truth is very different. Zombies: A Living History explores the real story of zombies beginning at the dawn of civilization and continuing right through to today. See how modern science added a whole new twist on zombies beginning with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Zombies: A Living History goes on a journey more than 5,000 years in the making and shows that every civilization and culture has had their own version of the undead.
For years, thousands of paintings owned by the British public have been hidden away and inaccessible, until now. Thanks to the work of the Your Paintings project, over 200,000 works in our national collections have been painstakingly uncovered, photographed and put online, some for the very first time, allowing art experts and amateur sleuths alike to make connections and discoveries that wouldn’t have been possible before. Alastair Sooke teams up with art detective Dr. Bendor Grosvenor to unearth some hidden gems and find out what the paintings say about British society.
Since the invasion of Tibet over 50 years ago, China has systematically destroyed the Tibetan culture. One of the most profound losses is the tradition of the great master yogis. The entire system which supported these fascinating mind masters has been inexorably eliminated. In order to record these mystical practitioners for posterity, the filmmakers were given permission to film heretofore secret demonstrations and to conduct interviews on subject matter rarely discussed. This profound historical, spiritual and educational film will someday be the last remnant of these amazing practitioners.
1979 British television documentary written and presented by the Australian journalist John Pilger. The film recounts the bombing of Cambodia by the United States in 1970 during the Vietnam War, the subsequent brutality and genocide that occurred when Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge militia took over, the poverty and suffering of the people, and the limited aid since given by the West. Viewers were so moved by the plight of the people that they donated 45 million to the station in aid. President Nixon and Mr. Kissinger unleashed 100,000 tons of bombs, the equivalent of 5 Hiroshimas. John Pilger vividly reveals the brutality and murderous political ambitions of the Pol Pot/Khmer Rouge totalitarian regime which bought genocide and despair to the people of Cambodia .
New discoveries by Egyptologists have found that women pharaohs wielded secret powers in ancient Egypt. This documentary examines their rise to power and cultural influence in ancient Egypt. From Nefertiti, who some scholars believe briefly ruled before the accession of Tutankhamun, to Hatshepsut generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful pharaohs, learn about the female rulers of one of the ancient world s greatest dynasties. Of course no exploration of the women who ruled Egypt would be complete without an insight into the life of the most famous Empress of them all, the legendary Cleopatra. Traditionally she has been painted as a cruel voluptuary, but through dramatic reconstruction and breathtaking footage of various Roman and Egyptian sites, Discovery tells the true story of the Egyptian Queen. Narrated by Kyra Sedgwick.
Exclusive rough cut of first in depth documentary on WikiLeaks and the people behind it! Reporters Jesper Huor and Bosse Lindquist, of Swedish televitions, SVT, have traveled to key countries where WikiLeaks operates, interviewing top members, such as Assange, new Spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson, as well as people like Daniel Domscheit-Berg who now is starting his own version, Openleaks.org, and other top members of the whistleblowing organization, some of who have since left the embattled internet site. The documentary chronicles the history of WikiLeaks, starting with its early leaks of Scientology documents and ending with its release of American diplomatic cables in 2010. Where is the secretive organization heading? Stronger than ever, or broken by the US? Who is Assange, champion of freedom, spy or rapist? What are his objectives? What are the consequences for the Internet?
How could a civilization which thrived for over two thousand years just suddenly disappear? Today many believe that a giant drought killed off the Maya, but is this really the case? World Maya Expert, Nikolai Grube began by looking at the Maya’s own historical records their fantastic hieroglyphic writing. Hidden within them he found two extraordinary figures: Dark Bat King and a Cold Killer Queen. Never before has the story of these remarkable individuals been brought to life. By resurrecting their spirit, Grube has come to the groundbreaking theory that the Maya collapse cannot be blamed on natural forces, but on the violent world of human politics and power struggles.
Documentary about the final hours of Stalin’s life, why was he denied medical attention, was he poisoned? Was it one of his inner circle of cronies and henchmen, also reconstructions of that days events and interviews with Stalin’s living relatives and the children of his inner circle. This is a real who done it.
This documentary combines computer animation with live action footage to show how dinosaurs might have looked striding over the landscapes of the United States. Each portion of the U.S. is profiled to show what it looked like millions of years ago and what animals strode that particular portion of the continent.
The Mary Rose, built five centuries ago and named after the favourite sister of Henry VIII, was a forerunner of today’s battleships. A team of experts from the fields of shipbuilding, science, history and archaeology gather to study the evidence and try to pin down the reason for the disaster. Using a scaled down model of the Mary Rose, forensic scientists reconstruct the ship’s last voyage, and a tragic picture emerges of her final moments.In a cellar under a naval dockyard are some of the remains of an English warship that mysteriously sank in 1545 taking over 400 with her the reason the ship sank has never been fully explained over the centuries the french the crew and even the shipwrights have all been blamed for the catastrophe only now are archeologist and scientist beginning to come up with new evidence to explain one of the great disasters of sea warfare The sinking of the Mary Rose.
As the Nazi Reich staggers toward final extinction desperate resistance continues amidst the rubble of Berlin. Hitler had sent his armies marching and ravaging over a continent and beyond. Throughout all that vast sphere of conflict there was one band of fighting men who were everywhere known. In their brief but extraordinary existence they won a unique reputation for daring elan and unfailing professionalism in combat. Yet if their courage was beyond dispute, so too was the fear and loathing which they elicited, even eventually among their own people, and in the regular soldiers alongside whom they fought. In the long period of decline and retreat, despite repeatedly sustaining appalling casualties their discipline remained unbroken, their fighting ardour unimpaired, almost to the very end, and for all their high undoubted bravery they bear a reputation forever shrouded with infamy.
Actor and writer Rupert Everett takes a revealing and witty journey, retracing the steps of one of his great heroes the infamous author, Victorian explorer and sexual adventurer, Sir Richard Burton. Labelled “Dirty Dick”, in part for his translations of the Kama Sutra and The Arabian Nights, to others Burton was a pioneer, bringing new cultural ideas of sex and religion from the East to the West.
To mark the Papal visit to the UK, a camera crew have spent a year filming a world that few have ever seen. With unprecedented access to the Vatican and the people who live and work there, this is a unique profile of the heart of the Catholic Church and the world’s smallest Sovereign State. Archivists reveal the Vatican’s secrets, including the signed testimony of Galileo recorded by the Inquisition. A Cardinal journeys deep below St Peter’s Basilica to inspect the site claimed to be tomb of the Saint himself, and curators share a private viewing of Michelangelo’s extraordinary decoration of the Sistine Chapel.
Through reenactments, computer animation and expert analysis, this documentary charts the origins of humanity, chronicling the evolutionary development that left Homo sapiens as the lone remaining human species. Text books will no longer include the famous illustration of human evolution moving in a straight progression from hulking ape to modern human. A new generation of scientists is unearthing tantalizing clues in a mystery that circles the globe over millions of years. Their discoveries are dramatically rewriting the human story. This new evidence reveals prehistoric ancestors did not walk the earth alone. Parallel experiments in human evolution gave rise to diverse human forms, from giants to “hobbits” … each with the intelligence, skills and potential to flourish. Some evolved, others died off, and even those that gave rise to modern man may have teetered at the edge of extinction. How and why did we outlive nature’s other human experiments? What happened over the millennia to help us survive?
The legend of Helen of Troy has enchanted audiences for the last three thousand years. A Hollywood film staring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom is about Troy. But is there any reality to the myth? This documentary has unprecedented access to the scientist with the answers. Since 1988 Professor Manfred Korfmann has been excavating the site of Troy. He has made amazing discoveries, how large the city was, how well it was defended and, crucially, that there was once a great battle there at precisely the time that experts believe the Trojan war occurred. But who had attacked the city and why? This documentary follows a trail of clues, the ancient tablets written by a lost civilisation, the sunken ship rich in treasure, and the magnificent golden masks and bronze swords of a warrior people. Korfmann is using science to get closer than ever to the truth behind the myth by digging in tunnels deep beneath the excavation site.
Tyrannosaurus Rex, it’s the scariest, meanest, most bewitching dinosaur of them all. Children are captivated by the sheer savagery of the teeth. Moviemakers made millions out of the terror it inspired. But could our picture of this monster be completely wrong? Was T. Rex in fact a slow lumbering creature, with hideously bad breath, that couldn’t get anywhere close to catching a Triceratops. Was it really a scavenger that lived off the scraps left by others? Was T. Rex, in fact, a wimp?
For almost 1000 years Norman cathedrals and castles have dominated the British landscape, but this norman legacy has eclipsed another culture. The lost art of the people the Normans conquered, the art of the Anglo-Saxons. The discovery of these golden hordes would radically alter our interpretation of the Anglo-Saxons. They used materials and techniques that brought together the ideas and beliefs of Scandinavia, main land Europe and the middle east. The Anglo-Saxons developed a complex artistic language that combined both their pagan past and their Christian future. They created a world of codes and secret messages that revealed the inner workings of the Anglo-Saxon mind, much of which has remained hidden until now. This documentary explores the collection of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England and is presented by Dr. Nina Ramirez of Oxford University.
Chronicling the exploits of former German Panzer driver Henry Metelmann, who was conscripted to fight for the Fatherland in World War Two. Transformed from idealistic Hitler Youth to battle-hardened soldier, he was responsible for the deaths of surrendering fighters and innocent civilians, only surviving the Russian Front through a combination of luck and cowardice. He tells his story in flashbacks from his home in Britain as an old man. A matter of fact account of his youth before the war and his trials during his time as a soldier.
This is a modern detective story and it’s the story of a clue the world once knew but then forgot about or covered up. That clue is the key to the most notorious mystery in the history of crime. For more than 30 years it lay neglected a dusty sheet of paper buried in an old book shop. But now it’s the start of a trail that leads straight to the forgotten prime suspect in the white chapel murders of 1888. The victorian police had a vital clue, but it has been left until now for a suffolk police constable to discover. The story of Jack the ripper, has always been the stuff of melodrama, shrouded in fog and folklore, the ripper story is infested with bogus theories and suspects. Cutting through the fiction, this documentary attempts to focus on the forensic facts.
In September 1943, the German army marched into Rome, beginning a 9 month battle for control of the “Eternal City”. It was the Allied aim to preserve the Holy City’s sacred institutions and treasures. So the staggering human cost before the city’s military conquest is nearly incomprehensible. The special is based on the book The Battle for Rome, its author Robert Katz was subject to five penal proceedings over the years for his contention that fear of Communism produced a Faustian pact between the Vatican and the occupying Germans. The research draws on interviews with participants inside the city, and also on previously secret documents from Italian, German, Vatican, OSS and CIA archives. We hear from ordinary Roman citizens, informants, opportunists, spies, double agents, and Germans who risked death in efforts to save Jews. We see Rome as the hotbed of assassination, intrigue, treason, and bravery that it was as we look unflinchingly at unresolved controversies.
It is the most legendary war in history. It begins with a beauty contest and ends with a giant horse unleashing destruction and annihilation. A tale so powerful it inspires 3,000 years of myth and legend. It is a story of armies divided, stolen treasure, an ancient world trade center, and a war without end. Now archaeologists, literary detectives and military analysts are uncovering evidence that the mythological city destroyed by beauty and vengeance, may be real. This is the true story of troy. For thousands of years fortune seekers and archaeologists have been searching these shores for evidence of the Trojan war and now some say they have found it. In turkey an international team is excavating what they believe to be the site of legendary Troy.
On October 3, 1993, an elite force of 120 American Delta units and Ranger infantry were dropped into Mogadishu, Somalia to abduct two lieutenants of the Somalian warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. The mission was planned to take one hour. But when two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down, it became a 15 hour ordeal that left a deep scar on America’s psyche. The author of the bestselling book, officials from the US and Somalia and combatants reveal what happened during the disastrous raid.
What is known about the trial and execution of Jesus? Despite the familiar gospel stories of the new testament, much of the historical account remains a mystery. What most historians can agree on is this: around the year 30 of the first century, a Jewish man named Jesus, leaves his home in the Galilea and does something in the Jewish temple that causes him to be arrested. Then the occupying Roman authorities execute him by crucifixion. Beyond that crucial facts remain unclear. Why is he arrested? What charges are brought against him and by whom, and why is he given the cruelest of punishments, death by crucifixion? Eminent scholars sift through Roman, Jewish and early Christian documents searching for answers.