History

Video documentaries about history of the world

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King

To mark 50 years since the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King on April 4, 1968, Trevor McDonald travels to America’s Deep South in the hope of getting closer to the man who meant so much to him and so many others.     He uncovers new sides to the story, speaks to a former member of the […]

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Auschwitz - The Nazis and The Final Solution

Auschwitz – The Nazis and The Final Solution

Auschwitz – The Nazis and The Final Solution is a BBC six parts documentary film series presenting the story of Auschwitz through interviews with former inmates and guards to include authentic re-enactments of relevant events. The history of the Final Solution phase of the Nazi Holocaust, particularly with the most infamous of the death camps.   Auschwitz – The Nazis and

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Cleopatra

Cleopatra: Portrait of a Killer

Cleopatra – the most famous woman in history. We know her as a great queen, a beautiful lover and a political schemer. For 2,000 years almost all evidence of her has disappeared – until now.     In one of the world’s most exciting finds, archaeologists believe they have discovered the skeleton of her sister, murdered by Cleopatra and Mark

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Africa's Great Civilizations

Africa’s Great Civilizations

In his six-hour – 6 part series, Africa’s Great Civilizations, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes a new look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century. This is a breathtaking and personal journey through two hundred thousand years of history, from the origins, on the African continent, of art, writing and

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Vienna: Empire, Dynasty and Dream

Vienna: Empire, Dynasty and Dream

Vienna was the capital of the Habsburg dynasty and home to the Holy Roman Emperors. From here, they dominated middle Europe for nearly 1,000 years. In this series, historian Simon Sebag Montefiore describes how the Habsburgs transformed Vienna into a multi-national city of music, culture and ideas. Napoleon, Hitler, Mozart, Strauss, Freud, Stalin and Klimt all played their part. Vienna:

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Civilisations episode 9

Civilisations episode 9 – The Vital Spark

In Civilisations episode 9, Simon Schama begins Civilisations with this premise: that it is in art – the play of the creative imagination – that humanity expresses its most essential self: the power to break the tyranny of the humdrum, the grind of everyday. Art, then, makes life worth living; it is the great window into human potential. And societies

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Shoah

Shoah (Holocaust) [4 parts with eng subtitles ]

Shoah is a 1985 documentary film about the Holocaust, directed by Claude Lanzmann. Over nine hours long and 11 years in the making, the film presents Lanzmann’s interviews with survivors, witnesses and perpetrators during visits to German Holocaust sites across Poland, including extermination camps. Shoah – Part 1     Hailed as a masterpiece by many critics, Shoah was described

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Civilisations episode 8

Civilisations episode 8 – The Cult of Progress

If David Olusoga’s first film in Civilisations is about the art that followed and reflected early encounters between different cultures, his second explores the artistic reaction to imperialism in the 19th century. David shows the growing ambivalence with which artists reacted to the idea of progress – both intellectual and scientific – that underpinned the imperial mission and followed the

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Civilisations episode 7

Civilisations episode 7 – Radiance

In Civilisations episode 7, Simon Schama starts his meditation on colour and civilisation with the great Gothic cathedrals of Amiens and Chartres. He then moves to 16th century Venice where masterpieces such as Giovanni Bellini’s San Zaccaria altarpiece and Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne contested the assumption that drawing would always be superior to colouring.     As the Baroque took

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Civilisations episode 6

Civilisations episode 6 – First Contact

In the 15th and 16th centuries distant and disparate cultures met, often for the first time. These encounters provoked wonder, awe, bafflement and fear. And, as historian of empire David Olusoga shows, art was always on the frontline. Each cultural contact at this time left a mark on both sides: the magnificent Benin bronzes record the meeting of an ancient

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Civilisations episode 5

Civilisations episode 5 – The Triumph of Art

Think Renaissance and you think Italy. But in the 15th and 16th centuries the great Islamic empires experienced their own extraordinary cultural flowering. The two phenomena did not unfold in separate artistic universes; they were acutely conscious of, and in competition with, each other and mutually open to influences flowing both ways.     The fifth film in Civilisations goes

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Civilisations episode 3

Civilisations episode 3 – Picturing Paradise

In Civilisations episode 3, Simon Schama explores one of our deepest artistic urges – the depiction of nature. Simon discovers that landscape painting is seldom a straightforward description of observed nature – rather it is a projection of dreams and idylls, as well as of escapes and refuges from human turmoil, the elusive paradise on earth.     Simon begins

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