The contrast between the majestic statues of Easter Island and the desolation of their surroundings is stark. For decades Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as the islanders call it, has been seen as a warning from history for the planet as a whole - wilfully expend natural resources and the collapse of civilisation is inevitable. But archaeologist Dr Jago Cooper believes this is a disastrous misreading of what happened on Easter Island. He believes that its culture was a success story not a failure, and the real reasons for its ultimate demise were far more shocking. Cooper argues that there is an important lesson that the experience of Easter Island can teach the rest of the world, but it doesn't begin by blaming its inhabitants for their own downfall. This film examines the latest scientific and archaeological evidence to reveal a compelling new narrative, one that sees the famous statues as only part of a complex culture that thrived in isolation. Cooper finds a path between competing theories about what happened to Easter Island to make us see this unique place in a fresh light.
Narrated by Brian Cox, Revelation of the Pyramids takes an in-depth look into one of Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Pyramids of Egypt. For centuries, the Great Pyramids have fascinated Mankind; every year brings a batch of new theories, from the plausible to the absolutely bizarre. One lone seeker, after more than thirty-seven years of study and research, has at last managed first to understand and then to prove what lies behind this greatest of archaeological mysteries: a message of paramount importance for all mankind, through time and space. Its key - and its heart - are the Great Pyramids of Egypt. From China to Peru, from Egypt to Mexico, throughout the Middle East - through the world's oldest, most enigmatic and often most beautiful sites - the director has spent six years of investigation, guided by his anonymous informant, verifying his discoveries one by one, and meeting the planet's most eminent scientific and technical specialists. The result will shake the history of mankind as it is taught to its very core, and revolutionize Egyptology entirely. A great odyssey along a breathtaking route rich in staggering imagery, an extraordinary scientific leap and finally a revelation as unexpected as it is spectacular: the message bequeathed to future generations by these mysterious builders.
2010 • History
The World's Longest Motor Journeys Long distance car rallies, including the London-Sydney and the Pan African rallies, and attempts to drive round the world (by Kegresse half-tracks in the 1920s) and the length of the Americas. Epic footage of speed and endurance. With the development of the motor car man soon turned his attention from using it as a means of travel to using it for his sporting aspirations, to driving around the world, to remote corners, to those places where few men have ventured before. Driving in these early days was always a challenge. Dirt roads that the horse found perfectly acceptable became impassable quagmires of mud for the automobile. Despite these challenges, it was not long before the automobile transformed itself from novelty to necessity. The advent of the world's longest motor journeys took place with the London-Sydney and Pan Africa car rallies, in deserts and at tropical jungles. These were then followed by epic attempts of endurance to drive round the world and across the length of the Americas.
2/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
The Story of the Escadrille Lafayette Well before their country entered the Great War a number of adventurous Americans volunteered to fight for the British and French. Among them were a number of pilots, and in early 1916 they were formed into a special French fighter squadron, which fought with great distinction on the Western Front. Amazing aerial footage shows WW1 dog-fights as they really were. If the Wright brothers' 1903 flights in Kitty Hawk marked the birth of aviation, World War I can be called its violent adolescence—a brief but bloody era that completely changed the way planes were designed, fabricated, and flown. France's Yankee Fliers tells the story of the men who were at the forefront of that revolution: the daredevil Americans of the Lafayette Escadrille, who flew in French planes, wore French uniforms, and showed the world an American brand of heroism before the United States entered the Great War.
14/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
Auschwitz-Birkenau was designed to kill. Four gas chambers murdered thousands at a time, belching out smoke and human ashes. Starvation, thirst, disease, and hard labor reduced the average lifespan to less than three months. More than 1-million people perished in the largest German Nazi concentration and extermination camp. Seventy years after her liberation, Kitty Hart-Moxon makes a final return to Auschwitz-Birkenau to walk among the crumbling memorial with students Natalia and Lydia, who, at 16, are the same age now as she was then.
2015 • History
It's known as the Miracle of Dunkirk: in May 1940, approximately 340,000 Allied troops were trapped with their backs to the sea. Sitting ducks, the troops were subjected to an endless barrage of bombs and bullets as the Luftwaffe apparently bombed at will. The situation seemed hopeless. Then a fleet of ships appeared on the horizon, mostly sent by the Royal Navy but joined by smaller craft captained by plucky civilians. The soldiers were rescued from the beaches and taken safely back to Britain. They would later return to win the war. But behind the Miracle of Dunkirk there's another, hidden story. Soldiers and mariners, angry that they'd apparently been left undefended against the Luftwaffe, blamed the RAF. Historians have long viewed Dunkirk as the RAF's poorest hour. But now, recently released MoD files reveal that, far from being absent, the RAF were suffering massive losses supporting the evacuation.