My Beautiful Dacia • 2009

Category: People | Torrent:

A humorous essay on the Romanian odyssey from Communism to capitalism as seen from the perspective of one of Romania's most charismatic symbols: Dacia, a simple and discreet automobile, but also a mirror of Romanian society.

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Part 1

The early years of Bin Laden, from timid Saudi schoolboy to revered freedom fighter. The first episode begins with Osama Bin Laden's schooldays in Saudi Arabia. He grew up in a wealthy family, loved westerns and soccer, and avoided fights in the schoolyard. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1980, like many Arab men, he joined the resistance to liberate the country from the occupying forces. In Peshawar, Pakistan, just across the Afghan border, he sets up a "service bureau" and uses his connections to organize money for the fight. He keeps promising his mother not to go into battle himself, but then joins the mujahideen commander Sayed Wahidyar, who is only called "Fearless". According to Wahidyar, bin Laden is initially a burden because he has no idea about fighting. The wealth he inherited and the family's connections to the construction industry come in handy when he begins to build much-needed infrastructure such as roads, warehouses and clinics on his own. In the Battle of Jaji, the Soviet troops were finally repulsed with the help of the experienced Afghan mujahideen - a decisive victory for bin Laden, which resulted in the superpower's final withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1988. It is the beginning of a myth fueled in part by Bin Laden himself. His supposed military success gives him enormous prestige. In the same year, Bin Laden founded Al-Qaeda. The die is cast.

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Up in the Air

Dr Tara Shine explores the gases that make up the air we breathe, one of which may provide the answer to transport in the future.

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Political Correctness

Political correctness can sometimes feel like a tug-of-war between inclusivity and free speech. Experts discuss the concepts behind the fraught term.

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Icemen: 200 Years in Antarctica

A riveting story that captures the immense draw that Antarctica has had on dreamers, explorers and travelers alike over the last 200 years. Explorer Geoff Wilson attempts a challenge that may see him travel further than any explorer before.

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A celebrated war photographer, Stephen Dupont has captured images in some of the world's most dangerous regions. Unfortunately this has left him questioning the way he now views life and death and has him seeking a new perspective.

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King Louis XIV

Louis XIV the Sun King had France's magnificent Palace of Versailles built and it pays extraordinary testimony to his reign. He ruled for an incredible 72 years at a time when France was all powerful. Discover the truth about the King's very open 'secret' second marriage to Francois D'Aubinge and his many affairs. It’s been claimed Louis bathed only three times in his entire life. How does that square with the luxurious Turkish bath at the Palace, or the stories of him disinfecting his skin with alcohol, or the fact that he had literally hundreds of pairs of underwear which he changed many times during a day? He was very conscious of his height at only five feet four inches tall, however in his wigs and heels he appeared to be alot taller, Tracy explains how this extraordinary effect was achieved.

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