Documentaries, society, technology

The Great Hack

YEAR: 2019 | LENGTH: 1 part (114 minutes)  |  SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

description:

The documentary focuses on Professor David Carroll of Parsons and The New School, whistle-blower Brittany Kaiser formerly of Cambridge Analytica, and investigative British journalist Carole Cadwalladr. Their stories interweave to expose the work of Cambridge Analytica in the politics of various countries, including the United Kingdom’s Brexit campaign and the 2016 U.S. elections.
Documentaries, medicine, technology

The 250 Million Pound Cancer Cure

YEAR: 2019 | LENGTH: 1 part (59 minutes)  |  SOURCE: BBC

description:

Proton beam therapy is the one of the most technologically advanced though expensive cancer treatments in the world – but it has the potential to save the lives of children with otherwise incurable cancers. Over two years, Horizon follows the engineers, scientists and medics as they race to build two new centres, one at the Christie Hospital in Manchester and one at University College Hospital in London, as well as following as the first children awaiting the lifesaving treatment. This is one of the most complex challenges the NHS has ever attempted. At the cutting edge of particle physics, proton beam therapy involves splitting hydrogen atoms to create a beam of protons travelling at two-thirds the speed of light, which target tumours with millimetre precision. But doing this in the heart of two of our biggest cities is no easy feat. The process generates so much radiation it needs to be housed in a maze-like nuclear bunker, with walls four metres thick. 2,000 tonnes of precision instruments are installed – more than four jumbo jets worth – and it all has to work perfectly. This special BBC Two programme goes behind the scenes on the £250 million cancer cure – from digging the biggest, widest hole ever to exist in London to the treatment of the first patients in the UK.
Documentaries, society

The Cleaners

YEAR: 2018 | LENGTH: 1 part (86 minutes)  |  SOURCE: PBS

description:

“Delete…Ignore…Delete… Ignore…” Someone is out there censoring your social media feed. Do their decisions distort your understanding of the world as much as clever hoaxes and “fake news”? They’re hired by Silicon Valley leaders like Facebook and Google to do “digital cleaning,” content moderators who are paid to sift through and remove what they deem as inappropriate content on the internet, thereby influencing what people around the world see and think. Told in the sinister style of a neon, cyberpunk thriller, The Cleaners charts social media’s evolution from a shared vision of a global village to a dangerous web of fake news, extremism and radicalization.
Documentaries, society

North Korea – All the dictator’s Men

YEAR: 2018 | LENGTH: 1 part (42 minutes)  |  SOURCE: IMDB

description:

North Korea has covertly developed a weapon whose secret the superpowers believed they alone possessed: the nuclear bomb. How has this country, ostracized by the international community and one of the world’s poorest nations, managed to build up such an arsenal? Five years of investigation will reveal, clearly and simply, the secrets behind the financing of North Korea’s nuclear weapons. A film revolving around the testimonies of the men and women at the heart of the system: the financier of the regime, the diplomat as well as the ‘little hands’, these North Korean workers sent abroad, who make the regime between 1,2 and 2,3 billion euros a year (according to UN estimates). Each year Pyongyang sends tens of thousands of North Korean workers outside the borders of the ‘Hermit state’, and rents them out to more than 40 countries across the world where they will be working in very difficult conditions, in isolation, permanently monitored by agents of the state in order to prevent them making contact with the outside or defecting. First-hand accounts of men and women who have played a role in this well-oiled system are extremely rare because defections are rare. Those who flee not only put their lives at risk but those of their families back home. This documentary reveals an ongoing tragedy, that of the Dictator’s Men working in the wings to bring cash into the country at all costs and ensure the regime’s survival.

Documentaries, nature

Nature’s Miracle Orphans

YEAR: 2015 | LENGTH: 2 parts (58 minutes each)  |  SOURCE: PBS

description:

Growing up in the wild is hard enough on young animals when they have parents to rely on for protection and guidance, but what happens when they lose their parents? How do they survive? Over the past few years, great strides have been made in understanding how to rescue and rehabilitate orphaned wildlife. But as the documentary shows, success often comes down to the efforts of individuals at animal rescue centers around the world who devote their lives to saving these vulnerable creatures, getting them back on their feet and, hopefully, releasing them back into the wild.

Nature’s Miracle Orphans tells their stories as it follows the different stages of care needed to get koalas, wallabies, sloths, kangaroos and fruit bats through infancy, childhood and on the road to independence where they can look after themselves.

episodes:

One of the orphans profiled in the first episode, Second Chances, is Danny, a baby koala found along a road, weak and underweight. In the wild, a young marsupial would be inseparable from his mother, spending the first six months or so developing inside her pouch. As stand-ins for his lost mother, staffers at Australia’s Cape Otway Conservation Centre are almost always with Danny, but also give him a teddy bear to hold onto as a bit of comfort, especially when they can’t be with him. Danny’s round-the-clock care includes being fed every two hours. When he is strong enough, nightly games of chasing the toy bear are added to build up muscles he will need to safely climb trees and eventually to join other koalas in a large outdoor enclosure.

 

Another storyline in this episode takes place at a sanctuary in Costa Rica, where Sam Trull has her hands full caring for six baby orphan sloths in her small apartment. Trull’s chief concern is Newbie, a three-toed female sloth who has been battling pneumonia since her rescue, a condition Trull thinks may have been triggered by the stress of losing her mother. She gives Newbie plenty of attention and good old TLC, in addition to her medicines, to help her recover. In the wild, Newbie would have spent nine months clinging to her mother for comfort and security, feeding on her milk and learning what to eat. The tasks of feeding Newbie and showing her what foods to eat now fall to Trull as surrogate mother.

In episode two, Wild Lessons, Bev Brown devotes her time to helping fruit bat orphans in Melbourne, Australia, to survive the crucial first four months until they are weaned and able to be released. As surrogate mother, Brown tucks her bats in specially designed blankets to simulate how they would be wrapped up in their mother’s wings, bottle-feeds them milk and grooms them daily. In another segment, Stella Reid cares for 20 kangaroos at her compound, but knows the youngest, a baby eastern gray kangaroo named Harry, needs special attention if he’s ever to join the wild eastern grays that graze across the open grasslands and forests of Eastern Australia. Reid starts the process by having Harry observe other orphans in her care, giving him a chance to learn how to behave and socialize with them before introducing him to the wild kangaroos outside the compound.

 

Back in Costa Rica, the program follows Trull as she trains Pelota, a two-toed female sloth, to climb, spend nights outside alone, and even swim, to prepare her for the wild. Although sloths travel chiefly through the trees, they need to be able to cross rivers when heavy rainfall causes the forests to flood. Rehabilitating wild orphans is often a process of trial and error for their human caregivers, but the rewards of giving these animals a second chance at life far outweigh the frustrations and emotional attachments involved.

Documentaries, medicine

War in the Blood: A Cure for Cancer?

YEAR: 2019 | LENGTH: 1 part (89 minutes)  |  SOURCE: BBC

description:

An intimate, feature-length documentary following two patients through groundbreaking ‘first in-human’ trials for CAR T-cell therapy, a treatment described as the beginning of the end of cancer.

Not allowed to meet and separated by two floors of a hospital, 53-year-old Graham and 18-year old-Mahmoud are nevertheless bound together by their commitment to the treatment and their faith in the science. Terminally ill, the trial represents their only option. How do their ages and life experiences affect their physical and emotional response?

For Martin Pule, the scientist who has developed the treatment, the responsibility of curing patients is both exciting and daunting. He knows he stands on the cusp of a breakthrough that could radically change the way we treat cancer.

At the heart of this film is the complex relationship between the patients and the clinical team. How much hope can the patients be given when they are effectively going into these trials as human guinea pigs? The patients and clinical team must weigh up hope with realism and their response is a profound and revealing reflection of the human condition.

Documentaries, technology

Breakthrough: The Ideas That Changed the World

YEAR: 2019 | LENGTH: 6 parts (54 minutes each)  |  SOURCE: PBS

description:

Take a mind-blowing journey through human history, told through six iconic objects that modern people take for granted, and see how science, invention and technology built on one another to change everything. These are the secrets of how we got to our modern world.

episodes:

Meet the brilliant minds throughout history, from Galileo to Edwin Hubble, responsible for creating the telescope. Today, their invention allows humanity to reach the furthest limits of seeing - 13 billion light-years out.
Take to the sky with the dreamers whose work gave humans the ability to fly. From Leonardo da Vinci's "flying machines" to the modern commercial plane, without these inventions, we may have never left the ground.
Learn how robots were first conceptualized in ancient Rome, and see how their use has evolved over the centuries, from the calculator to the Roomba. Then, take a sneak peek at what future robots will be able to do.
Go for a ride through the 9,000-year history of the car, from its roots in dogsleds to Henry Ford's affordable and assembly line-built Model T, and meet the scientists working on the next generation of self-driving automobiles.
Learn the explosive history of the rocket, from its origin in ancient China, to its use as a weapon of war, to how adding hydrogen allowed it to carry astronauts all the way to the moon.
Dial in to the fascinating history of the smartphone, from its roots in Morse Code to 2007, when Apple unveiled the first-ever iPhone. Plus, see how the next generation of smartphones will allow us to communicate through them just by thinking.
Documentaries, maths / physics

Einstein’s Quantum Riddle

YEAR: 2019 | LENGTH: 1 part (54 minutes)  |  SOURCE: PBS

description:

Einstein called it “spooky action at a distance,” but today quantum entanglement is poised to revolutionize technology from computers to cryptography. Physicists have gradually become convinced that the phenomenon—two subatomic particles that mirror changes in each other instantaneously over any distance—is real. But a few doubts remain. NOVA follows a ground-breaking experiment in the Canary Islands to use quasars at opposite ends of the universe to once and for all settle remaining questions.

Documentaries, society

Surveillance Capitalism

YEAR: 2019 | LENGTH: 1 part (50 minutes)  |  SOURCE: VPRO

description:

Harvard professor Shoshana Zuboff wrote a monumental book about the new economic order that is alarming. “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” reveals how the biggest tech companies deal with our data. How do we regain control of our data? What is surveillance capitalism?

In this documentary, Zuboff takes the lid off Google and Facebook and reveals a merciless form of capitalism in which no natural resources, but the citizen itself, serves as a raw material. How can citizens regain control of their data?

It is 2000, and the dot.com crisis has caused deep wounds. How will startup Google survive the bursting of the internet bubble? Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin don’t know anymore how to turn the tide. By chance, Google discovers that the “residual data” that people leave behind in their searches on the internet is very precious and tradable.

This residual data can be used to predict the behavior of the internet user. Internet advertisements can, therefore, be used in a very targeted and effective way. A completely new business model is born: “surveillance capitalism.”

Documentaries, nature

Expedition Europe

YEAR: 2019 | LENGTH: 2 parts (51 minutes each)  |  SOURCE: DOCUWIKI

description:

The landscapes of Europe are as incredible as they are different. They are full of secrets and surprises.

episodes:

We start at the oldest cliffs of the palaeocontinent Baltica in the Extreme North of Russia atop an ancient mountain now covered in water. From the Urals in the east to the forgotten Tabernas Desert in the west, volcanic landscapes with plants from every climate zone, dolphins and whales will amaze.
From the Norwegian fjords to the coast of Jura in the English Channel and up to the peak of the Matterhorn; go from the volcanoes of the Massif Central in southern France to the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, or the “Grand Canyon of Europe”.