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M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity

   2021    Art
Explore the intriguing world of M.C. Escher in this captivating documentary, which delves deep into his life and artistic journey through his own words. Narrated with excerpts from his writings, the film is visually enriched with archival footage of Escher himself and showcases his iconic drawings. Gain unique insights from interviews with his surviving family members who illuminate aspects of his personal and professional life.
Escher, who often described his work as straddling the realms of art and mathematics, admitted to not excelling in either yet found profound expression in geometry-infused art. Choosing to work in stark black and white, he embraced the challenge of conveying complex ideas without the use of color. The film explores pivotal phases in his career, including his mesmerizing explorations of the human eye and his ultimate obsession with the concept of infinity—depicted in real forms like circles and through visual illusions such as his famous never-ending staircase.
The documentary also features perspectives from admirers such as musician Graham Nash, who argues that Escher's genius remains underappreciated. This film promises not only to shed light on Escher’s innovative work but also to inspire a deeper appreciation for his unique blend of visual storytelling and mathematical precision.

To Kill a Tiger

   2022    History
(Click CC for subtitles) Ranjit, a farmer in India, takes on the fight of his life when he demands justice for his 13-year-old daughter, the victim of a brutal gang rape. His decision to support his daughter is virtually unheard of, and his journey unprecedented. Nominated for Best Documentary Award, the film has an undeniable and unshakable power. It is one of those documentaries where anyone who watches it won’t be the same person by the end as they were when it started.
To Kill a Tiger offers the viewer remarkable access to village life, not just in the modest home where Ranjit’s family make roti on an open fire, but in the fields where they herd goats and collect water from a pump. The camera finds quiet details, like Ranjit’s daughter carefully weaving ribbons into her hair. Women and men insist that the community, not the criminal court, should solve the issue with a forced marriage—to remove the ‘stain on her’. The men become increasingly hostile—to the family, and eventually to the film crew itself.

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.

AI and the Future of Humanity

   2024    Technology
In this captivating film hosted by Anderson Cooper, viewers are presented with an insightful exploration of artificial intelligence (AI), its profound implications, and the ethical dilemmas it poses. The documentary begins with a startling revelation: what appeared to be Anderson Cooper was actually an AI-generated version, raising questions about the authenticity of what we see and hear. The narrative then shifts to broader concerns about AI replacing human roles across industries and its capability to outperform humans in tasks ranging from driving to creating art. Viewers are taken on a journey through various facets of AI, from the streets of San Francisco, where robot taxis hint at a future dominated by AI, to the insights of Yoshua Bengio, a pioneer in deep learning.
The film also addresses the darker side of AI, including the potential for misuse and the challenges in distinguishing between reality and AI-generated content. The climax of the documentary presents a critical question: Can AI save humanity, or does it pose a threat to our existence? This thought-provoking exploration of AI's impact on our world is a must-watch for anyone curious about technology and its intersection with human life.

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.

Sly

   2023    History
Oscar-nominated actor, screenwriter, director, and producer, Sylvester Stallone has entertained audiences for nearly half a century. This revealing documentary offers an intimate and inspiring glimpse into his life, featuring sincere, previously unreleased interviews and extensive archival footage. It explores his journey from humble beginnings to Hollywood stardom, drawing parallels between his personal underdog story and the legendary characters he's played in blockbuster franchises like 'Rocky', 'Rambo', and 'The Expendables'.
This film not only highlights Stallone's remarkable career but also provides a deeper understanding of the man behind the unforgettable roles.
Senna

Senna

2010  Culture
Natural World

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2015  Nature
Minimalism

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2015  Culture
Animal

Animal

2021  Nature
Our Planet

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2019  Nature