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Total Trust

   2023    Culture
The digital possibilities of social control in China have led to an unprecedented level of state surveillance. Through self-censorship or spying on neighbors, surveillance covers not only those perceived as a threat by the government, but increasingly and ever more totally the ordinary citizen: whether buying flowers, taking your child to school, or taking out the trash at night. Big Data and digital technologies are already being used as weapons to curtail freedoms. Step by step, the social and political behavior of the Chinese is changing.
The documentary explores, in intimate detail, digital social control in China by following the experiences of two families and a journalist. Film-maker Jialing Zhang gives an exclusive and previously impossible intimate insight into the interior of China and tells a deeply disturbing story of how the state uses technology to control its citizens as well as propaganda to convince its people to trust it. She tells a deeply disturbing story about technology, (self-) censorship and abuse of power.

Planet Earth III: Forests

   2023    Nature
Journey to secret worlds where lives are wrapped in unexpected of ways. The fifth episode of the series takes viewers into the fascinating world of forests, revealing their hidden complexities and the intricate relationships within. Initially perceived as tranquil, forests are in fact bustling with life and intricate ecological interactions. The episode showcases various species, each with its unique lifestyle and survival strategies. Highlights include the Oriental pied hornbills in Borneo, whose extraordinary nesting rituals and partner dynamics are captivating.
The Amazon rainforest is explored, introducing the peculiar treehoppers and their unique communication methods, vital for survival amidst numerous predators like ants and assassin bugs. The episode also delves into the intelligent and cooperative hunting techniques of dholes in the forests of India. The narrative takes a turn to China, focusing on the visually stunning courtship displays of Temminck's tragopans and golden pheasants. In the temperate rainforests of Western Canada, the rare spirit bear and its unique relationship with its habitat are examined.
The episode concludes with an insightful look at the impact of human activity on forests and their inhabitants, particularly focusing on chimpanzees in Uganda, whose survival is increasingly intertwined with human expansion.
Series: Planet Earth III

Wham!

   2023    Art
In 1982, the best of friends and still teenagers George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley as Wham! set out to conquer the world. By June of 1986, they played their very last gig at Wembley Stadium having done exactly that. Now, for the very first time, told in their own words, comes the amazing story of how in four years they dominated the charts around the world with timeless and classic pop songs. Hit after hit ‘Club Tropicana,’ ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go,’ ‘Freedom,’ ‘I'm Your Man’ and of course ‘Last Christmas.’
Their time in the spotlight was white-hot, and they became the very first Western pop act to play in China. It was a time that both encapsulated and epitomized not just their youth but also that of the many millions of fans that adored them.

China Mystery Ships

   2022    Technology
As the world enters a phase of aggressive competition over untapped ocean floor resources, countries are scrambling to stake their claims. The vast economic potential on offer has made the seabed the ultimate frontier in a new Age of Exploration. China's research vessels in particular have been active in waters right across the globe. Through our exhaustive analysis of huge volumes of Chinese ship tracking data, from sand dredgers to survey vessels, we piece together a puzzle that reveals a new hidden power struggle over increasingly critical submarine resources.

Ascension

   2021    Culture
The absorbingly cinematic Ascension explores the pursuit of the 'Chinese Dream.' This observational documentary presents a contemporary vision of China that prioritizes productivity and innovation above all. Behind all, the ideology used in China to acquire acquiescence from the lower class workers in the factories, restaurants, resorts, etc who are sold a dream of one day being able to join the elite classes if they work hard enough.
Almost mesmerizing with its cinematography, akin to the dreams of consumerism and the narratives of wealth that are being sold to the underclass workers, the film nicely illustrates the Chinese economy of the present.

Secrets of the Forbidden City

   2021    Art
The architectural design of Beijing's ancient complex of palaces and temples enabled it to survive centuries of earthquakes. The Forbidden City is the world’s biggest and most extravagant palace complex ever built. For five centuries, it was the power center of imperial China and survived wars, revolution, fires, and earthquakes. How did the Ming Emperor’s workforce construct its sprawling array of nearly 1,000 buildings and dozens of temples in a little over a decade?