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The Black Death

   2023    Medicine
In an enthralling documentary, Dan Snow and archaeologist Raksha Dave delve into the catastrophic impact of the Black Death on Britain 700 years ago, a pandemic that extinguished around half of the population, or three million people. The duo embarks on a journey to trace the origins and merciless spread of the plague, starting from its arrival on Britain's South coast in June 1348, through the bustling trade routes that brought the disease to Melcombe Regis, Dorset. Their investigation takes them to various hotspots of the outbreak, including the Old Operating Theatre in London and Wildwood Animal Sanctuary in Kent, where they explore the role of rats in dispersing the bubonic plague. Through dramatic reconstructions and visits to places like Nottingham University's biomedical laboratories, they uncover the rapid spread and deadly impact of the plague, offering a month-by-month account of how it ravaged the country, decimating cities, towns, and villages alike.
The documentary not only showcases the horrific symptoms and desperate attempts at cures through brutal medical practices of the time but also leverages cutting-edge research to explain why the Black Death remains the deadliest pandemic in history. The personal stories of victims, from princes to paupers, are brought to light, revealing the indiscriminate nature of the disease. Dan's visit to Canterbury Cathedral and Raksha's investigation into the recent discovery of mass graves beneath a tranquil London square underline the widespread desperation and devastation. Their journey through the history of the Black Death, culminating in the discovery of its indiscriminate toll and the unveiling of mass graves in London, not only sheds light on the darkest chapters of British history but also ignites a profound understanding of the tragedy, making a compelling case for why this documentary is a must-watch for anyone interested in the profound impacts of pandemics on human society.

God Forbid

   2022    History
In this revealing documentary, Giancarlo Granda, former pool attendant at the Fontainebleau Hotel, shares the intimate details of his 7-year relationship with a charming older woman, Becki Falwell, and her husband, the Evangelical Trump stalwart Jerry Falwell Jr. Directed by Billy Corben, the film outlines Granda's entanglement with the Falwell's seemingly perfect lives and the overarching influence this affair had on a presidential election.
The life of Jerry Falwell — the late Moral Majority televangelist who for decades helped catalyze the rightward shift of American evangelicals before his death in 2007 — is a quintessentially American story. But it’s in the next generation that the Falwell narrative becomes at once soap opera and morality tale. The film covers the graceless fall of Jerry Falwell Jr., who after the death of his father was placed in the presidency of the family’s conservative organ Liberty University. There, he seemed to remain painfully in thrall to his appetites. We hear testimony about his alleged tendency to drink on the job and discomfiting, slurry interviews between him and sympathetic media — but most crucially, we receive the testimony of Giancarlo Granda.
Granda was a pool attendant at a Miami hotel when he met Falwell and his wife, Becki, in 2012. Today, he alleges that he was persuaded to have sex with Becki while Falwell watched, and that the pair engaged in an ongoing campaign of communication with him that could be described as coercive. His energies were consumed with managing their tempers and occasionally threatening behavior, and he blames the swirl of scandal around them for derailing his professional future. Plainspoken and only occasionally visibly emotional, Granda is his own best advocate as he describes a couple who, he says, craved his body and were willing to discard the rest of him.

Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal

   2021    Culture
Reenactments drive this documentary investigating the mastermind behind a scam to sneak the kids of rich and famous families into top US universities. The film goes beyond the celebrity-driven headlines and dives into the methods used by Rick Singer, the man at the center of the shocking 2019 college admissions scandal, to persuade his wealthy clients to cheat an educational system already designed to benefit the privileged.

The Relic that Sees the Future

   2021    History
A bizarre 3,000 year-old gold relic crafted with intricately designed cryptic patterns is believed to form a highly complex celestial code; using advanced imaging technology, experts speculate that it could be an ancient device for predicting the future.
Professor Timothy Koeth at Maryland University received a package containing a curiously heavy two-inch black cube. It comes with a message: "Taken from Germany from the nuclear reactor that Hitler tried to build."
Series: Strangest Things

The Cognitive Tradeoff Hypothesis

   2019    Science
Join us on a journey into the mysterious depths of the human psyche as we investigate the strange and surprising terrain of the Mind Field.
Chimps and Humans can be traced biologically back to a common ancestor. The Cognitive Tradeoff Hypothesis theorizes about the two different paths of development - particularly cognitive development - that occurred in these two species after the split. Chimps stayed in the trees and developed some extraordinary cognitive capabilities which are shown by the research work of Japanese scientists, while humans came down into the savanna and developed social capabilities and language.
The hypothesis is that humans 'traded' some aspects of cognitive capabilities by re-purposing areas of the brain that had evolved in the context of other uses. Those capabilities are kept in chimps and are far surpassing that of normal humans. This is shown by the research work of scientists at the Primate Research Center connected with Kyoto University.
Series: Mind Field

Murph: The Protector

   2013    History
A feature-length documentary based on LT Michael Murphy's life of honor, courage and commitment, as told by his friends, family and teammates. Michael was raised in Patchogue, New York, attended Penn State University and then joined the U.S. Navy to serve in the SEAL Teams. Well-known for his selflessness, Michael gave his life for his men in 2005 and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2007. His legacy now lives on in this moving portrait of a real American hero.
The Jinx

The Jinx

  History
Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome

2006  History
The Lost Pirate Kingdom

The Lost Pirate Kingdom

2021  History
Wild Wild Country

Wild Wild Country

2018  Culture
Life in the Undergrowth

Life in the Undergrowth

2005  Nature