YEAR: 2017 | LENGTH: 10 parts (45 minutes each)
The Mind of the Universe is an international tv series and open source digital platform about the rapid evolution of our knowledge. It explores the human destiny and the world of tomorrow through the eyes of great minds from all continents all over the globe.
The Mind of the Universe is a unique and unprecedented open source project in its scope and intention to provide all raw footage for free to everyone interested in learning and knowledge.
The interviews were produced in 2015, 2016 and 2017 by Dutch public broadcaster VPRO for a tv series featuring Robbert Dijkgraaf. The project was made possible by NPO. – source
YEAR: 2018 | LENGTH: 2 parts (42 minutes each)
DESCRIPTION: Venice is threatened by mass tourism. Some 30 million visitors a year come to the city in Italy, making their way through the narrow streets. With an infrastructure more and more tailored to the needs of tourism, the city’s remaining residents feel left behind. During high season an influx of up to 130 thousand tourists a day means the city authorities have scant resources to cater for the more mundane needs of residents. A constant flotilla of small boats ferry passengers between city landing stages and giant cruise liners moored in the lagoon. Air quality in Venice is often worse than busy city centers. Within the last generation the number of residents has dropped by nearly a third. The Rialto Bridge and St Mark’s Square have become the main attractions in this Venetian Theme park providing locals with jobs in the tourist sector, but little else. Rents are sky high, Airbnb rules the roost. More and more historical buildings have been taken over by hotels. Shops, bars and restaurant cater almost exclusively to tourists. But residents are fighting back and now there are over 30 local initiatives trying to stem the tides of mass tourism. – source
YEAR: 2018 | LENGTH: 2 parts (55 minutes each)
DESCRIPTION: The promise of Facebook was to create a more open and connected world. But from the company’s failure to protect millions of users’ data, to the proliferation of “fake news” and disinformation, mounting crises have raised the question: Is Facebook more harmful than helpful? This major, two-night event investigates a series of warnings to Facebook as the company grew from Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room to a global empire. With dozens of original interviews and rare footage, The Facebook Dilemma examines the powerful social media platform’s impact on privacy and democracy in the U.S. and around the world. – source
YEAR: 2018 | LENGTH: 1 part (44 minutes)
DESCRIPTION: “Hi guys! So this is my boob job vlog, I’m sooo excited! This is how you choose your breast size!” YouTube star
Welcome to the new world of enhanced “beauty” where there’s nothing natural about the faces and bodies created by cosmetic procedures.
Fuelled by social media influencers on Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat, cosmetic surgery has entered the mainstream.
“What I’m finding is, instead of hiding it, like they would have a few years ago, most people are kind of flaunting it…I’ve had my lips done, I’ve had my cheeks done. I’ve had a little bit in my jaw.” Social media influencer
The “Insta Effect” of social media has seen growing numbers of young women choosing to alter their appearance, as though it’s as simple as buying a new set of clothes.
“The problem I get is that people perceive a cosmetic procedure to have limited or no risk and only upside, and that’s not the case.” Surgeon
Doctors offering cosmetic surgery are becoming social media stars in their own right and it’s redefining the meaning of their doctor/patient relations.
“They write to you… ‘Look, here’s my Insta page, I’ve got this many loyal followers. If you perform surgery for me, I will promote you on my page.'” Surgeon
From dermal fillers and Botox, to butt lifts and breast implants, women are undergoing treatments that could change their lives forever, and not in the ways they were expecting.
“It looked deformed. It was sitting way higher than the other one. It was very out of shape.” Patient
Reporter Louise Milligan has uncovered cases of women left disfigured and in pain, struggling to find the money to afford corrective surgery to give them back their dignity.
Underpinning the growth in the industry is a business model targeting women who can barely afford the procedures by selling the dream of a dream of a “new you”.
“It was all about accessible surgery, advertising price point, that you can change your life for a coffee a day. You know, someone who has low self-esteem, who has low confidence, especially after going through a divorce or being on a single parenting pension.”
As this investigation shows, when things go wrong, the physical and financial costs are devastating.
“I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t do anything but sit there and cry in agony because it got to the point where it was so bad.” Patient
Doctors left to pick up the pieces are warning that the booming industry is creating a dangerous legacy.
“It scares me. This is a big problem. And it’s going to get bigger.” Surgeon – source
YEAR: 2018 | LENGTH: 1 part (58 minutes)
DESCRIPTION: Once a mountain kingdom of ancient palaces and emperors, Korea in the 21st century is largely known for its modern cities and decades of conflict. Tensions between North and South may be what defines it to outsiders but beyond the battle scars there is another side. In the south are large pockets of untouched wilderness where extraordinary animals flourish and Koreans continue to practise age-old traditions in tandem with the seasons and with nature. It is in these connections, rather than in division, that we see the true Korea.
At the southernmost tip of the peninsular we follow a pod of bottlenose dolphins through the volcanic islands of Jeju. They click at each other as they encounter a human in their midst, but the dolphins know this diver – they have shared the ocean with the Haenyeo, or sea women, for thousands of years. We travel to the isolated island of Marado, where three generations of sea women are preparing for a dive. Today is the start of the conch season, and they work whatever the weather to maximise their catch.
In the grounds of an ancient palace on the mainland, a raccoon dog family takes advantage of a rare event. Once every five years, hundreds of cicadas emerge providing a feast for the raccoon. Those that escape make for the safety of the trees, where they metamorphosise into their flying form.
On the mud flats of Suncheon Bay we find a habitat that is neither land nor sea. Only recently has the ecological value of mudflats been recognised. A staggering 50 per cent of the earth’s oxygen is produced by phytoplankton – microscopic algae that are found here in abundance. That is why the mudflats are known locally as the lungs of the earth. Plankton is far from the only life here – the mud of the bay is rich in nutrients and supports one of the most diverse ecosystems on the peninsula. We follow the story of a young mudskipper who has emerged for his first mating season. – source
YEAR: 2003 | LENGTH: 3 parts (60 minutes each)
DESCRIPTION: Race is one topic where we all think we’re experts. Yet ask 10 people to define race or name “the races,” and you’re likely to get 10 different answers. Few issues are characterized by more contradictory assumptions and myths, each voiced with absolute certainty.
In producing this series, we felt it was important to go back to first principles and ask, What is this thing called “race?” – a question so basic it is rarely raised. What we discovered is that most of our common assumptions about race – for instance, that the world’s people can be divided biologically along racial lines – are wrong. Yet the consequences of racism are very real.
How do we make sense of these two seeming contradictions? Our hope is that this series can help us all navigate through our myths and misconceptions, and scrutinize some of the assumptions we take for granted. In that sense, the real subject of the film is not so much race but the viewer, or more precisely, the notions about race we all hold.
We hope this series can help clear away the biological underbrush and leave starkly visible the underlying social, economic, and political conditions that disproportionately channel advantages and opportunities to white people. Perhaps then we can shift the conversation from discussing diversity and respecting cultural difference to building a more just and equitable society. – source
YEAR: 2008 | LENGTH: 1 part (107 minutes)
DESCRIPTION: Bigger, Stronger, Faster* is a 2008 documentary film directed by Christopher Bell, about the use of anabolic steroids as performance-enhancing drugs in the United States and how this practice relates to the American Dream. The film had its world premiere on January 19, 2008 at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. The film was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2008, and opened in limited release in the United States on May 30, 2008.
The documentary examines the steroid use of director Christopher Bell’s two brothers, Smelly and Mad Dog, who all grew up idolizing Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hulk Hogan, and Sylvester Stallone, and also features professional athletes, medical experts, fitness center members, and US Congressmen talking about the issue of anabolic steroids.
Beyond the basic issue of anabolic steroid use, Bigger, Stronger, Faster* examines the lack of consistency in how the US views drugs, cheating, and the lengths people go to achieve success. The film looks beyond the steroid issue to such topics as Tiger Woods’ laser eye correction to 20/15 vision, professional musicians use of blood pressure reducing drugs, or athletes’ dependence on cortisone shots, which are a legal steroid. It takes a skeptical view of the health risks of steroids and is critical of the legal health supplement industry.
Christopher Bell on steroid regulation: “If you look at all the laws in our country, and at how and why things get banned, they don’t actually fit into that category: They’re not addictive, they don’t actually kill people. I don’t condone the stuff, but after three years of researching this, it seems like we should take another look.” – source
YEAR: 2016 | LENGTH: 1 part (90 minutes)
DESCRIPTION: Thanks to a remarkable discovery in the BBC’s film vaults, the best of David Attenborough’s early Zoo Quest adventures can now be seen as never before, in colour, and with it the remarkable story of how this pioneering television series was made.
First broadcast in December 1954, Zoo Quest was one of the most popular television series of its time and launched the career of the young David Attenborough as a wildlife presenter. It completely changed how viewers saw the world, revealing wildlife and tribal communities that had never been filmed or even seen before.
Broadcast ten years before colour television was seen in the UK, Zoo Quest was thought to have been filmed in black and white, until now. Using this extraordinary new-found colour film, together with new behind-the-scenes stories from David Attenborough and cameraman Charles Lagus, this special showcases the very best of Zoo Quest to West Africa, Zoo Quest to Guiana and Zoo Q – source
YEAR: 2018 | LENGTH: 1 part (60 minutes)
DESCRIPTION: The Day the Dinosaurs Died investigates the greatest vanishing act in the history of our planet – the sudden disappearance of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.
Experts suspect that the dinosaurs were wiped out after a city-sized asteroid smashed into the Gulf of Mexico causing a huge crater. But until now, they haven’t had any proof. In a world first, evolutionary biologist Ben Garrod joins a multimillion-pound drilling expedition into the exact spot the asteroid hit to get hard evidence of the link. The team overcomes huge obstacles as it attempts to drill 1,500 metres beneath sea level to pull up rock from the Chicxulub crater.
Meanwhile, paleopathologist Professor Alice Roberts travels the globe meeting top scientists and gaining exclusive access to a mass fossil graveyard in New Jersey – believed to date from the same time the asteroid hit. Alice also treks by horseback across the remote plains of Patagonia, to see if the effects of the asteroid impact could have wiped out dinosaurs across the world – almost immediately.
Alice and Ben’s investigations reveal startling new evidence of a link between the asteroid and the death of the dinosaurs, presenting a vivid picture of the most dramatic 24 hours in our planet’s history. They illustrate what happened in the seconds and hours after the impact, revealing that had the huge asteroid struck the Earth a moment earlier, or later, the destruction might not have been total for the dinosaurs. And if they still roamed the world, we humans may never have come to rule the planet. – source
YEAR: 2015 | LENGTH: 1 part (60 minutes)
DESCRIPTION: Documentary about an adventure that has become known as the greatest dog story ever told and captured the imagination of children and adults throughout the world for almost a century.
On January 28 1925, newspapers and radio stations broke a terrifying story – diphtheria had broken out in Nome, Alaska, a city separated from the rest of the world for seven months by a frozen ocean. With aviation still in its infancy and amidst one of the harshest winters on record, there was only one way to reach the town – dogsled. In minus 60 degrees, over 20 men and at least 150 dogs, among them the famous Balto, set out to relay the antitoxin across 674 miles of Alaskan wilderness to save the town. – source
YEAR: 2018 | LENGTH: 1 part (60 minutes)
DESCRIPTION: A remarkable 200-million-year-old fossil – the bones of an ichthyosaur, a giant sea dragon – has been discovered on the Jurassic coast of Britain. David Attenborough joins the hunt to bring this ancient creature’s story to life. Using state-of-the-art imaging technology and CGI, the team reconstruct the skeleton and create the most detailed animation of an ichthyosaur ever made. Along the way, the team stumble into a 200-million-year-old murder mystery – and only painstaking forensic investigation can unravel the story of this extraordinary creature’s fate. – source
YEAR: 2018 | LENGTH: 1 part (60 minutes)
DESCRIPTION: Over 80 years after her death, Marie Curie remains by far the best-known female scientist. In her lifetime, she became that rare thing – a celebrity scientist, attracting the attention of the news cameras and tabloid gossip. They were fascinated because she was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize and is still the only person to have won two Nobels in two different sciences. But while the bare bones of her scientific life, the obstacles she had to overcome, the years of painstaking research and the penalty she ultimately paid for her discovery of radium have become one of the iconic stories of scientific heroism, there is another side to Marie Curie – her human story.
This multi-layered film reveals the real Marie Curie, an extraordinary woman who fell in love three times, had to survive the pain of loss, and the public humiliation of a doomed love affair. It is a riveting portrait of a tenacious mother and scientist, who opened the door on a whole new realm of physics, which she discovered and named – radioactivity. – source