11th November 1918. The world emerges from the worst conflict ever known. While the victors build a new world order, traumatised peoples rebuild their lives. In the years to come, the major empires collapse while hatred and fear resurface, leading the world to a new apocalypse. Directed by: Isabelle Clarke, Daniel Costelle (France, 2018). Narration: Mathieu Kassovitz
In April 1944, two Jewish prisoners miraculously escaped from Auschwitz. When they recounted what they had left behind, their harrowing testimony revealed the true horror of the Holocaust to the outside world for the first time. They described in forensic detail the gas chambers and the full extent of the extermination programme. The news they brought presented the Allies with one of the greatest moral questions of the 20th century: Should we bomb Auschwitz? While the Allies deliberated in London and Washington, the killing machine ground on in southern Poland. One month after the men’s escape, almost 800,000 Hungarian Jews had been rounded up awaiting transport to Auschwitz. By early July 1944, the majority had been transported. Most of them were murdered on arrival. As the killing at Auschwitz reached its frenzied climax, the outcome of the Second World War hung in the balance. Millions of troops were fighting on both fronts and battling for supremacy in the air. Should the Allies use their resources to push on and win the war or to stop the industrial slaughter at Auschwitz? The request to bomb the camp, with 30,000 captive prisoners, was remarkable and came from a place of utter desperation. But it was a direct response to the destruction of an entire people. There were operational challenges - was it possible to reach the camp to bomb it? How many heavy bombers would it take? What would the Nazi propaganda machine say about such an attack? - as well as complex moral ones. How many prisoners would likely die in such a raid? Can you kill friendly civilians in order to save the lives of those being transported towards the death camp? These were the hard questions faced by Churchill, Allied Air Command and the Jewish Agency.
2019 • History
How a Future US President Faced Death in the War in the Pacific Set against the backcloth of motor torpedo boats attracting adventurous spirits in both world wars, this is the story of the future US President and his struggle to survive after the sinking of his PT-109 off New Georgia in the Solomons in July 1943. Few people know how close JFK came to death in World War II when his PT-109 was rammed by a Japanese destroyer in the Pacific killing two of its crew. While on night patrol in the Solomon Islands, skipper Jack Kennedy's torpedo boat was cut in half by a Japanese destroyer. Although injured himself, Kennedy pulled one badly wounded man to the shore, then swam to nearby islands to find help for his crew. Kennedy's torpedo boat was the only one to be rammed by the Japanese navy during the war, which led to accusations of poor leadership. However, nobody could doubt the courage of Kennedy to lead his 10 men to safety as he swam for over five hours to raise the alarm and be rescued by a navy that had given him up for dead. His exceptional courage and leadership saved his men... and made him one of World War II's most notable heroes.
15/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
Gold from Africa kick-starts the rebirth of Europe. Money flows into Venice – creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs willing to take risks. In China, a new weapon – the gun – allows a peasant uprising to unify the country. Chinese innovations inspire Europe – leading to the printing press. Millions of books are printed. One of them will inspire a journey to the New World. America beckons.
In 814 BC, the exiled Phoenician queen Dido founds the city of Carthage on the African Coast. The city develops and takes the lead of a maritime empire based on trade. Carthage dominates the Western Mediterranean. But in the third century BC, she finds herself opposed to the Roman Republic.
Drama-documentary about Winston Churchill's extraordinary experiences during the Great War, with intimate letters to his wife Clementine allowing the story to be told largely in his own words. Just 39 and at the peak of his powers running the Royal Navy, Churchill in 1914 dreamt of Napoleonic glory, but suffered a catastrophic fall into disgrace and humiliation over the Dardanelles disaster. The film follows his road to redemption, beginning in the trenches of Flanders in 1916, revealing how he became the 'godfather' of the tank and his forgotten contribution to final victory in 1918 as Minister of Munitions. Dark political intrigue, a passionate love story and remarkable military adventures on land, sea and air combine to show how the Churchill of 1940 was shaped and forged by his experience of the First World War.
2013 • History