In recent years the world has become an unsettling place, from the mass movements of refugees to political upheaval, both in this country and abroad.
Disturbingly, history shows that it’s at unsettled times like this that dictators can rise – leaders who promise they can solve every problem, if only they’re granted supreme power.
David Olusoga examines fifty years of BBC documentary archives to try and discover why dictators can have such a powerful appeal.
David uncovers the surprising optimism felt by the West towards men like Gaddafi and Mugabe early in their regimes, and examines the events that turned this optimism into horror. He questions why such men continue to fascinate us regardless of their actions, and asks whether, especially in an age of mass media, our fascination has fed their power.
Documentary telling the story of the British world music revolution from the early 1980s to the present. Through a variety of careers, starting with Zimbabwe’s Bhundu Boys and culminating with Portugal’s Mariza in the new millennium, the film explores what it takes to bring music from ‘out there’ over here. Through the testimony of artists from all around the world alongside key British producers and broadcasters including Andy Kershaw, Joe Boyd and Nick Gold, it tracks the evolving story of what British audiences have wanted from what has come to be called ‘world music’ and what a range of artists including Les Mystere des Voix Bulgares, Salif Keita, Youssou N’Dour, Baaba Maal, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Buena Vista Social Club and Tinariwen have made of us. At the dawn of the 80s, in an age of spandex and synthesizers, many music fans were becoming bored with the pop charts and hungered for a new music that could excite them once again. Where music from the rest of the world had once been regarded as mere exotica, there was increasingly a sense that world music could be the future of pop music. The documentary traces the hopes and ambitions of a new music industry as cultures came together for the first time, producing much brilliant music and a degree of human comedy. From the tribal warriors of Mali who fought in rebellions with guitars and guns strapped to their shoulders, all-female choirs from the other side of the Iron Curtain playing to rock fans, a band from Zimbabwe who supported Madonna to a group of old men from Cuba who took the world by storm with their music from another era, these tales from musicians from out there arriving over here trace an evolving market that has both offered a blueprint for the future and an escape into a romantic past.
BBC Home Entertainment has revealed the Blu-ray release of Ocean Giants, a 2011 BBC One documentary series about dolphins and whales narrated by actor Stephen Fry. The Blu-ray edition of the three-episode series streets on March 5, 2013.
Dolphins and whales may appear to be totally alien to us. But with their mental ability, group communication and the recent discovery that dolphins have individual names, they are closer to us than we ever imagined. Ace underwater cameramen Doug Allan and Didier Noirot embark on a quest to film the most amazing stories of whales and dolphins across the ocean world. Teaming up with the world’s top cetacean scientists, they uncover new insights into the lives of these extraordinary animals that will redefine how we see them forever.