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Cold War 2.0

   2015    Culture
For 45 years, America was locked in the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and fear of global nuclear annihilation was constant. The end of the Cold War in 1991 was supposed to usher in a new era of peace and cooperation, but it didn’t last. Tensions between the U.S. and Russia have been simmering for years. And now, the conflict in Ukraine has pushed the relationship to the brink of full-blown crisis. VICE Founder Shane Smith met Kremlin officials and American leaders to figure out what’s really driving the new standoff between the powers, while correspondent Simon Ostrovsky reported from the front lines of the bloody war in Eastern Ukraine.

Dzerzhinsky and Company

   2018    History
For the past century, Russian history has also been the history of its security services. They were used by the Soviet state to crush dissent. Millions suffered at their hands. Mass executions, secret wars, spies capable of stealing the atomic bomb, poisoning scandals all add up to the most extraordinary and dangerous security network the world has ever known. But even today, the security network is arguably stronger than ever. This is the History of the KGB, told through its veterans and its victims.
Founded in 1917, Cheka was the predecessor organization of the KGB. Set up as a 'temporary' measure by Lenin, unknown number of Soviet citizens would die at the hands of the secret services as internal dissents in the 1920s. An inglorious chapter is the "Great Terror" phase, when millions of Soviet citizens were convicted and executed in mock trials under Stalin's rule in the 1930s. Outside the Soviet Union, during the WWII they were busy infiltrating German High Command, British Intelligence and America's Manhattan Project. The Cold War had begun in earnest.
Series: KGB: The Sword and the Shield

Free for All

   2013    Art
Part 2 examines how the freewheeling modernism that had shocked audiences in the first two decades of the century came under state control. Initially, many practitioners thought the totalitarian regimes would be good for music and the arts. What followed in Germany was a ban on music written by Jews, African-Americans and communists, while in the Soviet Union there was a prohibition on music the workers were unable to hum. After the cataclysm of the 1940s, a new generation of composers - Boulez, Stockhausen, Xenakis, Nono, Ligeti - turned their back on what they saw as the discredited music of the past and tried to reinvent it from scratch. Or, at least, from serialism, which became as much of a straitjacket as totalitarianism's strictures had been. But from this period of avant-garde experimentation, which many listeners found baffling and terrifying, came some of the most influential and radical musical innovations of the century.
Series: The Sound and the Fury

Last Days of the USSR

       History
Moscow, 31 December 1991: the Red Flag of the Kremlin is pulled down and replaced by the three-coloured banner of Russia, marking the end of the Soviet Union and of its ideologies. Illustrated with testimonies of top protagonists and Mikhail Gorbachev himself, the documentary recounts, day by day, the critical last two years that led to the fall of the largest and one of the most totalitarian empires of the 20th century.

Once Brothers

   2010    Culture
Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac were two friends who grew up together sharing the common bond of basketball. Together, they lifted the Yugoslavian National team to unimaginable heights. After conquering Europe, they both went to America where they became the first two foreign players to attain NBA stardom. But with the fall of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day 1991, Yugoslavia split up. A war broke out between Petrovic's Croatia and Divac's Serbia. Long buried ethnic tensions surfaced. And these two men, once brothers, were now on opposite sides of a deadly civil war. As Petrovic and Divac continued to face each other on the basketball courts of the NBA, no words passed between the two. Then, on the fateful night of June 7, 1993, Drazen Petrovic was killed in an auto accident. "Once Brothers" will tell the gripping tale of these two men, how circumstances beyond their control tore apart their friendship, and whether Divac has ever come to terms with the death of a friend before they had a chance to reconcile.

Over the Rainbow

   2013    Culture
With optional Hebrew subtitles. Simon Schama's history of the Jewish experience plunges into the lost world of the shtetl, the Jewish towns and villages sewn across the hinterlands of Eastern Europe which became the seedbed of a uniquely Jewish culture. Shtetl culture would make its mark on the modern world, from the revolutionary politics of the Soviet Union to the mass culture of Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood. It was also the birthplaces of Hasidism, the most visible, iconic and, arguably, most misunderstood expression of Jewish faith and fervour. This chapter of the story travels from the forests of Lithuania, where Simon's own family logged wood and fought wolves, to the streets of the Lower East Side where the sons of shtetl immigrants wrote the American songbook. With grim inevitability, the story returns to Eastern Europe in 1940 - where the genocidal mechanisms of the 'final solution' were beginning to grind the shtetl world into dust and ash.
Series: The Story of the Jews
Prehistoric Planet

Prehistoric Planet

2022  Science
Human universe

Human universe

2014  Technology
Dangerous knowledge

Dangerous knowledge

2007  Science
The Universe Season 7

The Universe Season 7

2014  Science
Neanderthal

Neanderthal

  History
Human Universe

Human Universe

2014  History