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Self-Access Centre - English - TV Documentaries


Storyville - The Most Dangerous Man in America

Judith Ehrlich Judith Ehrlich
In 1971, leading Vietnam War strategist Daniel Ellsberg concluded that the war was based on decades of lies. He leaked 7,000 pages of top-secret documents to the New York Times, a daring act of conscience that led directly to Watergate, President Nixon's resignation and the end of the Vietnam War.
History%%%Politics & Public Policy

Storyville - The Queen Of Versailles

Lauren Greenfield
Jackie and David Siegel, a former beauty queen and her billionaire husband, are triumphantly building their dream home in Florida.But when the economic crisis hits, the rarefied world of a truly unique family is turned upside down.
General Interest

Storyville - The Thin Blue Line

Errol Morris
Errol Morris broke cinematic ground with The Thin Blue Line, establishing a new genre in the non-fiction feature by creating a fascinating reconstruction and investigation of a brutal and senseless murder.
Art & Design%%%Law

Storyville - Who Is Gorky? An Abstract Life

Cosima Spender
In a personal journey into a family tragedy, filmmaker Cosima Spender explores how she and her relatives have been shaped by her grandfather - the pioneering Abstract Expressionist painter, Arshile Gorky.
Art & Design

Storyville : Football Gods of Brazil

BBC
Documentary telling the story of legendary Brazilian footballers Pele and Garrincha, whose emergence following Brazil's defeat at home in the 1950 World Cup Final heralded the dawn of a golden age of football for the country.
Other%%%Sport

Storyville: I Will Be Murdered

Justin Webster
This week’s Storyville chronicles an extraordinary story of murder, love and political conspiracy triggered when a video of a murdered Guatemalan lawyer surfaced on Youtube in which he foretold his own death and named the culprits.
  • No subtitles
  • 90

Storyville: Knocking On Heaven's Door

BBC 4
George Carey's film shows how the Russian space programme was kick-started by a mystic who taught that science would make us immortal, and carried forward by a scientist who believed that we should evolve into super-humans who could leave our overcrowded planet to colonise the universe. Stranger still, Carey shows how those ideas have survived Communism and adapted themselves to the science of the modern world.
Engineering%%%Humanities

Storyville: The Interrupters - How to Stop a Riot

Steve James
Documentary which tells the surprising story of three dedicated individuals who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they themselves once perpetrated. These 'interrupters' intervene in conflicts before the incidents explode into violence.
Politics & Public Policy

Storyville: The Pirate Bay

Simon Klose
Storyville: Documentary telling the story of The Pirate Bay, the world's largest file sharing site which facilitates downloading of copyrighted material. The film follows the three Swedish founders of The Pirate Bay through their trial after they are taken to court by Hollywood and the entertainment industry, accused of breaking copyright law. Seeing themselves as technicians whose aim is to run the world's largest web platform, in scenes bordering on the absurdly comedic they claim that their actions are about freedom and not money.
Computer Science


Street Story : Bruce Springsteen

BBC
Since his breakout from the New Jersey Shore in the 1970s, Bruce Springsteen has produced both arm-pumping rock classics and introspective acoustic ballads. His lyrics talk of the struggles of working class America and are interwoven with a cast of intriguing characters. He has become one of the greatest American storytellers since Samuel Clemens.
Music%%%Other

Strike: When Britain Went To War

More 4
This documentary uses archive footage and the recollections of an eclectic mix of key players from both camps to revisit a crucial period in Britain's social history: the miner's strike of 1984.
History



Supersized Earth: Part 2 - The Way We Move

BBC
In this episode, Dallas explores how we can travel further and faster than ever before - and how our desire to shrink the world is inspiring some of the most extraordinary engineering projects on the planet.
Engineering

Supersized Earth: Part 1 - A Place to Live

BBC
Supersized Earth traces the spectacular story of how humans have transformed our world in a generation. In this awe-inspiring three-part series, Dallas Campbell travels the globe, visiting the world's largest and most ambitious engineering projects, exploring the power of human ingenuity.
Engineering



Surving Progress

BBC
Documentary telling the double-edged story of the grave risks we pose to our own survival in the name of progress. With rich imagery the film connects financial collapse, growing inequality and global oligarchy with the sustainability of mankind itself.
Economics & Finance%%%Environmental Studies

Surviving the Tsunami: My Atomic Aunt

Kyoko Miyake
Storyville: Marking the second anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, this documentary tells an insightful and surprisingly funny story of a family adjusting to life after the tsunami.
  • No subtitles
  • 80





Terry Pratchett - Living with Alzheimer's

Charlie Russell
Bestselling author Terry Pratchett has early onset Alzheimer's disease. And he wants Alzheimer's to be sorry that it ever caught him. In the second of this two-part series, Terry confronts his future living with the disease. He travels to America to witness first-hand how they are coping with the 'tsunami of Alzheimer's', and meets the unlikely doctor who stumbled across a controversial new treatment that he claims produces remarkable results in minutes.
Medical Sciences



The Ancient World with Bettany Hughes - Alexandria : The Greatest City

More 4
Three cities dominated the ancient world: Athens, Rome and a third, now almost forgotten. It lies hidden beneath the waters of the Mediterranean and a sprawling modern metropolis. Alexandria was a city built on a dream; a place with a very modern mindset, where - as with the worldwide web - one man had a vision that all knowledge on earth could be stored in one place. Bettany Hughes goes in search of this lost civilisation, revealing the story of a city founded out of the desert by Alexander the Great in 331 BC to become the world's first global centre of culture, into which wealth and knowledge poured from across the world. Until its decline in the fourth and fifth Centuries AD, Alexandria became a crucible of learning; Hughes uncovers the incredible discoveries and the technical achievements of this culture. The film's cast of characters reads like a list of the greatest figures of ancient times: political figures like Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, and intellectuals including female mathematician, astronomer and philosopher Hypatia, Euclid, Archimedes, Eratosthenes and Ptolemy. At last, after 1,500 years squashed under a modern metropolis, new clues are emerging from the earth to the real nature of this grand experiment in human civilisation.
Classical World%%%History

The Ancient World with Bettany Hughes - Alexandria : When the Moors Ruled Europe

More 4
Bettany Hughes traces the story of the mysterious and misunderstood Moors, the Islamic society that ruled in Spain for 700 years, but whose legacy was virtually erased from Western history. In 711 AD, a tribe of newly converted Muslims from North Africa crossed the straits of Gibraltar and invaded Spain. Known as The Moors, they went on to build a rich and powerful society. Its capital, Cordoba, was the largest and most civilised city in Europe, with hospitals, libraries and a public infrastructure light years ahead of anything in England at the time. Amongst the many things that were introduced to Europe by Muslims at this time were: a huge body of classical Greek texts that had been lost to the rest of Europe for centuries (kick-starting the Renaissance); mathematics and the numbers we use today; advanced astronomy and medical practices; fine dining; the concept of romantic love; paper; deodorant; and even erection creams. This wasn't the rigid, fundamentalist Islam of some people's imaginations, but a progressive, sensuous and intellectually curious culture. But when the society collapsed, Spain was fanatically re-Christianised; almost every trace of seven centuries of Islamic rule was ruthlessly removed. It is only now, six centuries later, that The Moors' influences on European life and culture are finally beginning to be fully understood.
Classical World%%%History