On November 5, 2001, Dr. Andrew Bagby was murdered in a parking lot in western Pennsylvania; the prime suspect, his ex-girlfriend Dr. Shirley Turner, promptly fled the United States for St. John's, Canada, where she announced that she was pregnant with Andrew's child. She named the little boy Zachary. Filmmaker Kurt Kuenne, Andrew's oldest friend, began making a film for little Zachary as a way for him to get to know the father he'd never meet. But when Shirley Turner was released on bail in Canada and was given custody of Zachary while awaiting extradition to the U.S., the film's focus shifted to Zachary's grandparents, David & Kathleen Bagby, and their desperate efforts to win custody of the boy from the woman they knew had murdered their son. What happened next, no one ever could have foreseen…
Thirty years after the collapse of the USSR, the martial rhetoric and other trappings of the "strong men" of the totalitarian era are making a comeback. Why? The film's director Ivo Briedis and the journalist Rita Rudusa were both born in the Soviet Union. Together, they embark on a journey to explore the phenomenon of HOMO SOVIETICUS. They want to know if a totalitarian mindset can still be found in countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union. The thinker Alexander Zinoviev defined as Homo Sovieticus as a person who is, at their core, an opportunist. They do not rebel against their leadership, and want to take as little individual responsibility as possible. Did these characteristics develop specifically as a result of growing up in the Soviet Union, or can they develop in any society? To find out, they speak with people who lived under the Soviet regime, as well as with members of the first post-Soviet generation.
2021 • People
Sci-fi legend Robert Heinlein is a walking contradiction. His stories address themes of patriotism, and duty while stressing the importance of personal freedom and expression. His groundbreaking stories like Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land continue to challenge readers with a steadfast theme: what is freedom?
Bettany Hughes investigates the revolutionary ideas of Karl Marx. Born to an affluent Prussian family, Marx became an angry, idealistic radical, constantly on the run for his political agitating and incendiary writing. In Paris he first formulated his explosive analysis of capitalism and its corrosive effects on human nature. In Brussels he co-authored the Communist Manifesto with Frederick Engels. In London his obsessive theorizing dragged his family into poverty and tragedy. Marx's masterpiece Das Capital was largely overlooked in his lifetime, and only 11 people attended his funeral. Yet his ideas would generate one of the most influential, and divisive, ideologies in history. Drawing on expert opinion and new evidence, Bettany reveals the flesh-and-blood man and his groundbreaking ideas.
The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was one of the most brilliant and dangerous minds of the 19th century. His uncompromising and often brutal ideas smashed the comfortable presuppositions and assumptions of religion, morality and science. His was a world not just bereft of God but almost of humanity, breathtaking in both its post-religious starkness and its originality. Bettany Hughes goes in search of the beliefs of a man whose work is amongst the most devastatingly manipulated and misinterpreted in philosophical history. Nietzsche's dislike of systems and of seeking truths left his ideas ambiguous and sometimes incoherent. It was this that made him vulnerable to interpretation, and as a result his thoughts - which warned against the very notion of a political system like totalitarianism - were manipulated to strengthen its ideals. Vocally opposed to anti-Semitism, his anti-Semitic sister made sure he became the poster boy for Hitler's drive for an Aryan ideal.