The slave trade was abolished over years ago but one form of slavery continued well into the 20th century. The so-called coolies comprised over one million Indians who migrated to all corners of the British Empire to carry out indentured labour. It is a chapter in colonial history that implicates figures at the very highest level of the British establishment and has defined the demographic shape of the modern world. In this filmwhich combines historical evidence and archive material, descendants of the coolies look into their past and trace the last surviving witnesses.
Spirituality is big business in Keralafueled by the planeloads of tourists who come to India’s south western coast in search of enlightenment. In this documentary, Jenny looks into the activities of Kerala’s godmen gurus who claim to be living gods and asks whether they are exploiting their power over their vulnerable devotees.
Documentary about the effects of Britain’s withdrawal from India in 1947 which triggered one of the biggest migrations in history. 15 million were displaced and more than a million lost their lives. The story is told through the testimony of people who lived together for centuriesbut were forced out of their homes as one of the largest and most ethnically diverse nations in the world was divided. Dramatised reconstructions evoke some of the mistrust, violence and upheaval that ensued.
Actor and writer Rupert Everett takes a revealing and witty journeyretracing the steps of one of his great heroes the infamous author, Victorian explorer and sexual adventurer, Sir Richard Burton. Labelled Dirty Dickin 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.
A departure from other documentaries that observe history as the actions of great men People’s Century considers the Century from the view of common people. Most persons interviewed were ordinary men and women who closely witnessed various events and they give personal accounts how developments in the Twentieth Century affected their lives. The opening credits depict various images from the century and a very short introduction. Episode 18 Picture Power 1963 – Governments, advertisers and revolutionaries seek to exploit television’s ability to instantly communicate compelling messages to mass audiences. Television allows people to vividly witness Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation, the 1960 US Presidential election, the moon landing, the Munich Olympics, the Tienanmen Square Massacre, the Romanian Revolution of 1989 and the Gulf War. Advertising, education programs, and series like Ramayan, Dallas and Oshin influence society by changing perceptions and habits. The introductory scene showed the impact of television in communicating the news of the assassination of President Kennedy. Interviewees include Abu Daoud and Don Hewitt.
From the dawn of civilization to the 20th centuryA History of Britain re-animates familiar tales and illuminates overlooked aspects of England’s past. Hosted by Simon Schama, this series discards timelines and tiresome lineages for a lively look at the personalities and cultures that infuse British history. Epic themes and towering figures that transformed an island at the edge of the world into the greatest empire on earth. Episode 11 The Wrong Empire-Discovering how the expansion of imperialism was built on the Empire’s slave trade and relied on the subjugation of native peoples to enrich the mother country despite Britons’ natural distrust of large armies and all powerful governments.
Michael Wood goes in search of four of the world’s most famous myths. These gripping adventures take the viewer to some of the most extraordinary places on earthexploring stories that have captivated the world for thousands of years. The Search for Shangri-La – Wood’s search for Shangri-La takes him on a thrilling trek through India, Nepal and Tibet. The tale of the magical hidden valley of Shangri-La was popularized in the 1930s by James Hilton in his novel, Lost Horizon. But, the story of a lost kingdom behind the Himalayas free from war and suffering is descended from a much older Indian myth. When Europeans first caught wind of the tale back in the 16th Century, they set about trying to discover it. To find the truth behind the legend, Michael follows their track on foot through the Maoist controlled lands of Western Nepal and then on into Tibet. On the way he visits Mount Kailash.
As the world approaches the 21st centurythis new series hosted by Michael Woods and produced in 1991, reminds us that other nations and cultures prospered for hundreds or even thousands of years. Now all that remains is the legacy of their civilizations, present and influential in our own. Shot on location on four continents, Legacy takes a different viewpoint from other series that concentrate primarily on the the Western view of history. Visiting China, India, Egypt, the Middle East, Greece and Meso-America, this series traces the rise of both Asian and western civilization. India The Empire of the Spirit – Ancient India is with us today in the living tradition of the Hindu religion, the basis of Indian culture. The traditions that are honored by millions of Hindus in the present were born in the Indus valley 5,000 years ago.
A departure from other documentaries that observe history as the actions of great men People’s Century considers the Century from the view of common people. Most persons interviewed were ordinary men and women who closely witnessed various events and they give personal accounts how developments in the Twentieth Century affected their lives. The opening credits depict various images from the century and a very short introduction. Episode 13 Freedom Now 1947 – European powers are forced to relinquish their colonies in Africa following the Second World War, but in most cases the newly independent countries would eventually succumb to poverty, civil war and despotic regimes. India’s independence motivates a generation of war veterans from Africa, who for the first time have travelled the world, to seek greater autonomy for their own countries. The Europeans are at first reluctant to surrender colonies that supports their prosperity, although Asia is decolonised in the 1950s. The British give reforms to the Gold Coast (now Ghana), which under Kwame Nkrumah would lead the way to independence, and ultimately become an example to the rest of Africa. Kenya’s path to independence would not be without blood, and the British fight the Mau Mau to protect the numerically small white population. France and Portugal both struggle to keep their colonies. Within three years, 25 African states would become independent from their colonial masters, but tribal hatreds, corruption, a lack of a skilled workforce and internal conflict often lead these countries to ruin. The introductory scene shows India’s path towards independence. Interviewees include Komla Gbedema and E. T. Mensah.
The world’s largest democracy and a rising economic giantIndia is now as well known across the globe for its mastery of computer technology as it is for its many armed gods and its famous spiritual traditions. Like other great civilizations had not just one but several brilliant golden ages in art and culture. Episode 2 The Power of Ideas – The revolutionary years after 500 B.C. the Age of the Buddha and Mahavira. traveling by rail to the ancient cities of the Ganges plain, by army convoy through Northern Iraq, and down Pakistan’s Khyber Pass, Michael Wood shows how Alexander the Great’s invasion of India inspired her first major empire in the form of the Mauryan Empire.
The world’s largest democracy and a rising economic giantIndia is now as well known across the globe for its mastery of computer technology as it is for its many armed gods and its famous spiritual traditions. Like other great civilizations had not just one but several brilliant golden ages in art and culture. Episode 5 The Meeting of Two Oceans – The fifth episode of the story of India takes us to the time of the Renaissance in Europe, when India was the richest, most populous civilization in the world. We visit the desert cities of Rajasthan and travel among the fabulous Mughal cities.