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  • the canary effect

    Best Documentaries – The Canary Effect

    The Canary Effect is a documentary that looks into the effects of that the United States and its policies have on the Indigenous peoples (Native Americans) who are residents. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won the Stanley Kubrick Award at the 2006 Traverse City Film Festival (Michael Moore hosts). The movie was directed by Robin Davey and Yellow Thunder Woman, who are both members of LA Based alternative pop group The Bastard Fairies. Delving deeply into the […]

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  • stealing lincoln's body

    Best Documentaries – Stealing Lincoln’s Body

    One of the strangest, most intriguing, and yet almost unknown episodes in American history unfolded in 1876, eleven years after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. A band of Chicago counterfeiters hatched a plot to steal the President’s body from its tomb outside Springfield, Illinois, and hold it for a ransom of $200,000. A paid informant told the newly formed Secret Service. When both the police and the criminals showed up at the cemetery on the appointed night, the scheme was foiled. This feature-length […]

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  • royal babylon

    Best Documentaries – Royal Babylon

    This is an investigative poem about the criminal record of the British Monarchy. Heathcote Williams has devised a form of polemical poetry that is unique, no-holds-barred personal and political. It is a great collection of facts that most people are unaware of. Can we go on bowing and curtsying to people who are just like ourselves? We begin to wish that the Zoo should be abolished. That the royal family should be given the run of some wider pasturage – a royal […]

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  • bugging hitlers soldiers

    Best Documentaries – Bugging Hitler’s Soldiers

    In the mess and annihilation of total war, first-class intelligence is as crucial as firepower. MI19 set out to make use of the German prisoners of war in the most enthusiastic surveillance mission ever attempted. Three courtly homes in the British non-urban area were transformed into prison camps and wired for sound. MI19’s microphones reached everywhere. Nothing was outside limits. Cloaked away in cellars and top floors were the listening rooms filled with, what at that time was cutting edge, recording […]

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  • the last duel

    Best Documentaries – The Last Duel

    After quarrelling over a bank loan, two men took part in the last fatal duel staged on Scottish soil. BBC News’s James Landale retraces the steps of his ancestor, who made that final challenge. On 23 August 1826, two men met at dawn in a field just outside Kirkcaldy in southern Fife. Only one walked away alive. One was David Landale, a linen merchant and pillar of the community. The other was George Morgan, a soldier-turned-banker with a fiery temper. The pair […]

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  • wright brothers flying machine

    Best Documentaries – Wright Brothers’ Flying Machine

    On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright became the first to make a controlled and sustained flight in a power-driven, heavier-than-air craft. Though not formally trained in the field of engineering, the brothers approached the problem of flight as would any well-trained engineer. Using a thorough and systematic approach, they were able to solve three key challenges that kept all other would-be flyers aground. First, there was the issue of lift. When the brothers found the existing data on lift […]

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  • beating the bomb

    Best Documentaries – Beating The Bomb

    A story about the biggest weapons of mass destruction ever created, the people who use them and, more importantly, the people who fight them. Beating the Bomb charts the history of the British peace movement against the backdrop of the atomic age. The film also frames the nuclear weapons issue within the wider context of global justice. The narrative follows the now called nuclear deterrent, starting at the dawn of the nuclear age in WWII to present day. Nuclear weapons shaped […]

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  • elusive peace israel and the arabs

    Best Documentaries – Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs

    A three part documentary series examines the last years of the Arab-Israeli peace process from the point of view of presidents and prime ministers, their generals and ministers and those behind the suicide bombs and assassinations. The series reveals what happened behind closed doors as the peace process failed and the violence of the intifada exploded. Israel’s former Prime Minister Ehud Barak persuaded US President Bill Clinton to devote his last 18 months in office to helping make peace with Yasser […]

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  • the strangest dream

    Best Documentaries – The Strangest Dream

    This is a documentary on the life of Jo Rotblat, who mobilized the world’s leading scientists to save the world from nuclear annihilation and won the Nobel Peace Prize for his life-long dedication. Rotblat and the Pugwash movement have inspired thoughtful people everywhere. The film retraces the history of nuclear weapons, from the first test in New Mexico, to Hiroshima, where we see survivors of the first atomic attack. Branded a traitor and spy, Rotblat went from designing atomic bombs to researching […]

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  • space race

    Best Documentaries – Space Race

    Space Race is a BBC docudrama series first shown in Britain on BBC2 in 2005, chronicling the major events and characters in the American – Soviet space race up to the first landing of a man on the moon. It focuses on Sergei Korolev, the Soviet chief rocket designer, and Wernher von Braun, his American counterpart. The series was a joint effort between British, German, American and Russian production teams. Race For Rockets (1944–1949) – We see the results of Wernher von Braun’s […]

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  • stealing a nation

    Best Documentaries – Stealing a Nation

    Hidden from Parliament and the U.S. Congress, the deal was this: the Americans wanted the island, in their words, swept and sanitized. An entire population was declared expendable; all of them were to be deported. Stealing a Nation (John Pilger, 2004) is an extraordinary film about the plight of people of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean – secretly and brutally expelled from their homeland by British governments in the late 1960s and early 1970s, to make way for an […]

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