Simon Schama explores one of our deepest artistic urges - the depiction of nature. Simon discovers that landscape painting is seldom a straightforward description of observed nature - rather it is a projection of dreams and idylls, as well as of escapes and refuges from human turmoil, the elusive paradise on earth.
2018 • History
If David Olusoga's first film in Civilisations is about the art that followed and reflected early encounters between different cultures, his second explores the artistic reaction to imperialism in the 19th century. David shows the growing ambivalence with which artists reacted to the idea of progress, both intellectual and scientific, that underpinned the imperial mission and followed the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution.
2018 • History
From Roman marbles and Egyptian mummies to Renaissance masterpieces and African sculptures, in this special accompanying programme to Civilisations, Mary Beard goes in search of extraordinary works of art from all over the world that can be seen here in Britain.
2018 • History
How the Atlantic was conquered by air ranging from the pioneering epic of Lt Cdr Read USN in his Curtis flying boat and Alcock and Brown in their converted Vickers Vimy bomber in 1919, to Charles Lindbergh's epic solo crossing of 1927 and the record speed flights, including Concorde. Once man had conquered the power of flight, his next goal was to find a way to cross the Atlantic. The pioneer was Lt Commander Read of the US Navy who crossed the North Atlantic in a Curtiss NC-4 flying boat. In 1919 he was followed by Alcock and Brown in their converted Vickers Vimy bomber; and a few years later Charles Lindbergh made his epic solo flight across the Atlantic. In the following years the record breaking attempts were aimed at speed with Concorde's breaking of the sound barrier.
1/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
Simon Sebag Montefiore looks at how every event in ancient Rome revolved around religion. From the foundation myth through to the deification of emperors, nothing could happen without calling upon the pantheon of Roman gods. Simon investigates how the Romans worshipped and sacrificed to the gods. He discovers that sacredness defined what was Roman and it was the responsibility of every Roman to play their part in the cult. Even the ancient Roman sewer was holy ground!
Berlin Escapes 1961-89 The many and sometimes successful attempts to escape under the watchful eyes of the East German border guards. Set against the background of the history of the Wall. On August 13th, 1961 building commenced on die Berliner Mauer, the wall that would divide the world for nearly thirty years, as well as the city of Berlin. During that period more than five thousand people escaped to freedom, but over two hundred lost their lives. Even the phrase, Checkpoint Charlie, evokes the deception and fear that existed every day in the East and West Berlin. On a Sunday morning in 1961, shocked citizens awoke to the sounds of a barrier being built along the border separating East and West Berlin. Over the next three decades, thousands of of East Berliners risked their lives--leaping from buildings, crashing vehicles into gates, digging tunnels--in desperate attempts to breach the Berlin Wall and reach the West. In 1989, as Communist rule was collapsing throughout Europe, defiant Berliners began to tear the Wall down. Today, a few battered sections remain standing--a monument to those who died trying to escape to freedom.
17/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
The treasure map uncovers a mysterious pyramid complex that reveals clues of violent sacrifices; newly discovered cave systems reveal gruesome evidence of ancient Mayan rituals; Albert Lin dives deep beneath the surface of the Mayan spirit underworld.