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Beyond Utopia: Escape from North Korea

   2024    Culture
The documentary tells the story of several families as they attempt to escape oppression in North Korea, revealing a world most of us have never seen. They grew up believing their land was paradise. Now, they risk everything in escaping it. In an unforgettable film, follow them on a treacherous journey to defect from their homeland of North Korea, as the threat of severe punishment and possible execution looms over their passage.
Directed by Madeleine Gavin, the documentary centers around Pastor Seungeun Kim, a South Korean human rights activist and director of the Caleb Mission, which has rescued over 1,000 North Korean defectors since 2000.

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.

Kennedy Sinatra and the Mafia

   2023    History
This featured documentary delves into the tangled web of politics, show business, and organized crime in post-World War II America. It traces the unlikely connections between President John F. Kennedy, iconic singer Frank Sinatra, and notorious mobsters, revealing a saga of mutual assistance amidst corruption and betrayal. The film highlights the complex interplay of fame, money, and power, illustrating how these forces helped these figures rise to prominence in a chaotic and corrupt American landscape, ultimately leading to personal and political tragedies.
The documentary paints a vivid picture of Kennedy and Sinatra's ascent, influenced by their ties with the mafia. Kennedy, groomed for power from birth, and Sinatra, rising from humble beginnings, both relied on mafia connections for their successes. As Kennedy's political career and Sinatra's entertainment stature grew, so did their dependence on the underworld. The film culminates in the portrayal of Sinatra's deep involvement in Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign and the subsequent betrayal of the mafia by the Kennedy administration, suggesting that this complex network of relationships may have played a role in Kennedy's assassination. This provocative tale is a stark reminder of the dark intersection of fame, power, and crime.

When Banana Ruled

   2017    History
The saga of a handful of conquerors who built an empire in Central America and invented the methods of one of the very first multinationals. In 19th century Central America, a few entrepreneurial cowboys built an empire that enslaved populations and corrupted governments for over 100 years. The United Fruit Company thrived on unregulated capitalism; this film tells its story and that of its pioneers who feared neither God nor Man, and managed to get away with murder. Until the 1970s, that multinational set up a monopoly by combining violence, repression, corruption, environmental destruction and a formidable marketing machine. It turned an unknown fruit into an instrument of fortune and domination, and created a business model still largely used by today’s tech giants.
Using a rich trove of archival footage and documents, including letters to and from lobbyists, telegrams, vintage ads and movie clips, and gorgeous, hand-tinted stills, 'When Banana Ruled' is a story of intrigue that touches on economics, international politics, the history of business and reveals how an array of forces conquered the world through a simple fruit.

Chimp Empire: Paradise

   2023    Nature
Dive into the heart of Uganda's Ngogo Forest, where a community of chimpanzees exhibits an intricate dance of politics, family ties, and territorial conflict. For a quarter-century, scientists and trackers have witnessed firsthand the chimps' evolving political dramas and familial bonds. Now, this series offers an unprecedented lens into this world, capturing the tribe's most defining moments: battles for dominance, growing offspring, budding romances, and the ever-shifting leadership. Join us for an intimate journey into the lives of the Ngogo chimps, where every day is a fight for survival and power. Don't miss this captivating look into the heart of the chimp empire.
The first episode delves into the captivating world of chimpanzees, drawing parallels with human existence. As the narrative unfolds, viewers are taken on an enlightening journey into the lives of these primates, highlighting the profound similarities and unique stories they share with humans.
Series: Chimp Empire

This Place Rules

   2022    Culture
Andrew Callaghan embarks on a gripping RV journey through a tumultuous America, capturing the very essence of a nation on edge. Employing his distinctive gonzo style of reporting, Callaghan dives deep into the undercurrents leading up to the January 6 Capitol Riot.
As 2020 sees COVID gripping the globe, nationwide protests, and a monumental election on the horizon, he navigates the chaos with nothing but a camera and a microphone, offering an unfiltered glimpse into the events, characters, and sentiments in the days leading up to the insurrection of the U.S. Capitol Building.
Life in a Day

Life in a Day

2021  Culture
Building Giants

Building Giants

2019  Technology
Arnold

Arnold

2023  History
The Jinx

The Jinx

  History
Life in the Undergrowth

Life in the Undergrowth

2005  Nature
The Last Dance

The Last Dance

2020  Culture
The Cell

The Cell

  Science