When the world’s financial bubble blew, the solution was to lower interest rates and pump trillions of dollars into the sick banking system. But what happens when the solutions are identical to the mistakes that caused the very crisis?
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Lying on the remote north west coast of England is one of the most secret places in the country – Sellafield, the most controversial nuclear facility in Britain. Now, Sellafield are letting nuclear physicist Professor Jim Al-Khalili and the television cameras in to discover the real story. Inside, Jim encounters some of the most dangerous substances on earth, reveals the nature of radiation and even attempts to split the atom. He sees inside a nuclear reactor, glimpses one of the rarest elements in the world – radioactive plutonium – and even subjects living tissue to deadly radiation. Ultimately, the film reveals Britain’s attempts – past, present and future – to harness the almost limitless power of the atom.
There are 100,000 US citizens in solitary confinement across the country, a staggering number prompting comment from both President Obama and the Pope. Situated in rural Virginia, 300 miles from any urban center, Red Onion State Prison is one of over 40 supermax prisons across the US built to hold prisoners in eight-by-ten-foot cells for 23 hours a day. Filmed over the course of one year, this eye-opening film braids stark prison imagery, stories from correction officers, and intimate reflections from the men who are locked up in isolation. The inmates share the paths that led them to prison and their daily struggles to maintain their sanity.
The story of Sport and Spoon – two young hustlers who attend the eponymous convention, only to get tangled up in a financial disagreement that leads to a shootout, police chase and finishes with Sport on death row, weighing up what it all means. Taking its title from the album, the film blends archive photos with interviews and uses unique animated sequences set to the album. It portrays Hustlers Convention in its wider social context and Jalal’s personal story as one of rap’s undisputed pioneers.
An in-depth and intimate portrait of Coldplay’s spectacular rise from the backrooms of Camden pubs to selling out stadiums across the planet. At the heart of the story is the band’s unshakeable brotherhood which has endured through many highs and lows.
Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, documentarian Matt Embry takes viewers on a transnational journey — from Italy to Canada, and from the lab to the home — in order to examine the politics of the condition.
In a seasonal special, Gordon Buchanan meets the animals who live in nature’s winter wonderlands. He reveals their survival secrets, from the polar bear mother who gives her cubs the best possible start in life to the owl that finds food hidden beneath a blanket of snow, plus the plucky penguins that huddle together to keep warm. Gordon also unwraps the lives of our favourite Christmas characters – those wonderful reindeer and our very own robin redbreast!
Ming of Harlem: Twenty One Storeys in the Air is an only-in-New-York account of Ming, Al, and Antoine Yates, who cohabited in a high-rise social housing apartment at Drew-Hamilton complex in Harlem for several years until 2003, when news of their dwelling caused a public outcry and collective outpouring of disbelief. On the discovery that Ming was a 500-pound pound Tiger and Al a seven-foot alligator, their story took on an astonishing dimension. The film frames Yates’s recollections with a poetic study of Ming and Al, the predators’ presence combined with a text by philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, reimagining the circumstances of the wild inside, animal names, strange territories, and human-animal relations.
Filmed in Karasjok, Norway – 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, BBC Four rigs a traditional reindeer sleigh with a fixed camera for a magical journey across the frozen wilderness of the Arctic. Following the path of an ancient postal route, the ride captures the traditional world of the Sami people who are indigenous to northern Scandinavia and for whom reindeer herding remains a way of life. Deliberately unhurried, the rhythmic pace of the reindeer guides us along an epic two-hour trip that takes us over undulating snowy hills, through birch forests, across a frozen lake and past traditional Sami settlements.