Browse Documentaries

This (Illegal) American Life

From a small town in Oaxaca, Mexico, and from a kitchen table in East Los Angeles, from a flophouse in a coastal farming town, to a strip-mall in Phoenix, Arizona, these are snapshots of illegal immigration in America. It’s estimated that as many as 12 million people are living in United States illegally, but this story is about just two. An American lit major named Ilse, and a strawberry picker named Filemon. They know that many do not want them here. But for different reasons they’re staying. Their lives are testaments to both the power of the American dream and the absolute failure...

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How To Build A Satellite

Some of the best and most up-to-date communication satellites in the world are designed and built in Stevenage in Britain. With exclusive access to specialist manufacturer Astrium, this programme shows step-by-step how to assemble one of the most complicated machines in the world. The team is followed as they construct a massive communication satellite; from the inner carbon-fibre skeleton to the fuel tanks and engines. At the Portsmouth site, the electronic 'payload' is built and then tested. It has to operate for a minimum of fifteen years - guaranteed, and so precision is everything;...

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Frank Gardner’s Return to Saudi Arabia

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner returns for the first time to Riyadh, the city in Saudi Arabia where he was shot by Al Qaeda in 2004 and left dependent upon a wheelchair. Travelling in this important and mysterious country, he explores how it has so far avoided an Arab Spring revolution. Frank Gardner's Return to Saudi Arabia BBC full documentary 2013 Inside the saudi...

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The Camp

Situated on the picturesque Thai-Burma border, the Mae La refugee camp is home to more than 50,000 Burmese people who have fled the military regime of Burma. This dialogue-free documentary illustrates the lives of people who are dislocated, without international status and without a voice. Set to a haunting soundtrack, this film presents the everyday realities of life in the camp. Some of the refugees hope to see life beyond their self-made community. Others simply embrace each day as it...

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EP5/6 Surviving the Cut – Navy EOD Final Certification

Navy EOD Final Certification Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians or EOD are the only explosives and bomb specialists qualified for special operations. Before a Navy EOD team can go to war with Special Forces, they must go through one final test. Like the job itself, it’s all-or-nothing training: A five-day, non-stop series of high stress missions. Make the wrong move, allow fatigue or distraction to take over and the entire team will fail. The team that survives the cut stays together as a certified special ops team. You can turn off the annotations by clicking the...

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Iraq in Fragments (2006)

Filmmaker James Longley offers three thumbnail sketches of Iraq as the nation struggles to its feet following the American Invasion in this documentary. In the film's first chapter, Mohammed Haithem is an 11-year-old forced to make his own way in Bagdhad after the disappearance of his parents. Mohammed earns his keep working in an auto-repair shop, though he would prefer to go back to school, and has developed a precocious cynicism about the presence of U.S. troops along with a fear of the ongoing battles between Sunni and Shia forces. Elsewhere, the struggle of the Kurdish people of Iraq...

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Ancient Computer: The Antikythera Mechanism

In the spring of 1900, at the tiny rocky island of Antikythera a violent storm drives a group of sponge divers to take shelter, after three days the storm finally subsided and one of the divers decided to try his luck under water, he finds something entirely unexpected. All around him on the seabed are corroded human limbs, horses and faces. It is the largest horde of ancient marble and bronze sculptures ever found, the cargo of an overloaded galley that sank over 2000 years ago, carrying treasure from Greek colonies in the Mediterranean conquered by rome. Over the next 9 months the...

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Born Asleep

This Panorama episode takes a look at the toll of still born babies that shames Britain, which has one of the highest rates of still born births in the developed world, with 9 apparently healthy babies dying in the womb each day. This film meets with the doctors who think they can save thousands of babies lives, they have been battling for years for the medical establishment to take notice but others say the evidence just isn't sufficient enough. The NHS promotes preventative medicine yet life saving interventions are still not being rolled out as quickly as you might have...

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Normandy ’44: The Battle Beyond D-Day

To mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, historian James Holland takes us through the depths of the operation, the brutal 77 day Battle for Normandy that came after the initial invasion. Holland challenges some of the myths that come to surround this vital campaign, arguing that we have become all too comfortable in our understanding of these events. As veterans gather to relive one of the turning points of the Second World War, historian James Holland moves beyond the D-Day beaches to reassess the brutal 77-day Battle for Normandy that followed the invasion. This story is about the...

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