The Documentary: Archive 2009

The Documentary: Archive 2009

United Kingdom

The BBC World Service's wide range of documentaries from 2009.

Episodes

24 Hours in Tulsa  

A midget street thug on a kiddy bike. Incompetent thieves who resort to stealing air-conditioning units. A woman too drunk to notice a police car heading towards her with all lights flashing. These are just some of the criminals and junkies, the faithful and forlorn encountered by one police officer cruising the streets of one Midwestern US city. But this policeman has an eye for the weird, an overdeveloped sense of humour and a talent for narrative. Which is why Officer Jay Chiarito-Mazarrella created a cult following for his “Street Story” podcasts, vivid vignettes of his work for the Tulsa Police Department. In “24 Hours in Tulsa,” we hear the best of the Street Stories, giving us a fresh, funny and sometimes downright scary insight into policing from the horse's mouth.

John Simpson Returns to 1989 - part three  

Twenty years ago, on November 9th, the Berlin Wall came tumbling down. The greatest symbol of the Cold War, which many never dreamt they would see disappear, was overwhelmed by people power. This momentous event precipitated largely peaceful revolutions across Eastern Europe as people shook off 40 years of communism. The BBC’s World Affairs Editor John Simpson, experienced it at first hand. He was in the thick of the action for the gun battles in Bucharest, Romania. Taking Romania as an example, John looks are the re-integration of Central and Eastern Europe into Europe as a whole and asks how well has the process has been managed.

Assignment: Vancouver Gangland  

The Canadian city of Vancouver is routinely named as one of the best communities in the world in which to live. But the city, which is to host the 2010 Winter Olympics in the coming weeks, is fast developing another reputation: one built on illicit drugs and guns. Bill Law reports for Assignment on the youngsters in the city who are exploiting legal loopholes to build a multi-billion dollar industry.

Defining the Decade - Part two  

Back in the year 2000, the world's leaders did not seem to be troubled by the notion of global warming, so what has changed? Edward Stourton tries to make sense of a decade in which history has been put on fast forward.

Defining the Decade - Part one  

What have been the defining moments of the decade? Edward Stourton explores Google's mighty impact on the internet and finds a world of complex moral and legal pitfalls beneath the promise.

Internet Cafe Hobo  

Nick Baker is on a mission to connect people, stories and places via internet cafe. Via Kenya and France he finds a remarkable story in Benin of a young man for whom a single search changed his life.

State Secrets - Part two  

It's estimated that up to one million people were killed during communism in Eastern Europe, but there's no clear figure for those imprisoned, persecuted or spied on. While few have been put on trial for those crimes, most countries have started to open their secret police archives and some have limited the participation of former communists and informers to public office. The whole issue of what to do about the past - forget, forgive, confront - is a live and contentious in Eastern Europe. All the countries have taken different approaches. So how successful are these different approaches? In this two part series our European affairs correspondent Oana Lungescu, one of many Romanians who looked for their own secret police files, investigates.

Assignment: Latvia: Coping with Crisis  

Until recently, little Latvia appeared to have a rosy future. It was the fastest growing economy in Europe. But now that boom looks like a mirage. No country in the EU has been worse hit by the global recession. Its economy has been in freefall, property prices have collapsed, unemployment has been rising rapidly. Six months ago, Assignment visited several Latvians from various walks of life to see how they were affected by the crisis – now the programme returns to find out how these same individuals are coping as the recession deepens.

Internet Cafe Hobo  

Nick Baker is on a mission to connect people, stories and places via the internet. His journey takes him to New York, China and London.

Orphans of '89 - Part Two  

Quentin Peel, International Affairs editor of the Financial Times, looks at the communist regimes and movements orphaned by the collapse of the governments of the Soviet Union and eastern Europe. In Programme Two Quentin looks at the new self-proclaimed "radical" governments in Latin America, such as Venezuela and Bolivia, which draw inspiration from that key "orphan of 1989", Cuba.

State Secrets - Part One  

To what extent did communist regimes intrude into the lives of ordinary people? And how are they dealing with those transgressions now the files have been made publicly available?

Assignment - Return to Nablus  

Six years ago, the second Palestinian Intifada – or uprising – was raging in the West Bank town of Nablus in the Israeli-occupied territories. This was an era when Palestinian militants regularly battled the Israeli Defence Force in the streets. The BBC’s Alan Johnston reported from Nablus during those dark, dangerous days. Now, for Assignment, on his first reporting trip back in the Middle East since he was kidnapped in Gaza, he returns to Nablus to find out how life has changed for the town.

Can China Go Green? Part two  

The second part of Jonathon Porritt's report from China, where, amidst the toxic power stations and burgeoning numbers of cars, he finds some extraordinary and pioneering green solutions. In two provocative and counter-intuitive programmes, Jonathon Porritt flies in the face of international protest and fear at what China is 'doing' to the world's environment in order to properly explore what's actually happening across the vast country. Although the Chinese are avid to grow their economy at all costs, Porritt is convinced that they are effectively leap-frogging the older industrial societies of Europe and America and bringing on real long term environmental solutions, sustainable power and eco design.

Orphans of '89  

Quentin Peel, International Affairs editor of the Financial Times, presents the first of a two-part series looking at the communist regimes and movements 'orphaned' by the collapse of the governments of the Soviet Union and eastern Europe.

StoryCorps - Part Two  

Did I turn out to be the son you wanted? What was the saddest moment of your life? Questions like these have arisen out of StoryCorps - an American oral history project described as "a story-foraging mission of epic proportions".

Assignment - Bhopal  

Twenty-five years ago, a gas leak at a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal killed 8000 people. Allan Little returns to the scene of the disaster to find out why people are still suffering.

Can China Go Green? Part One  

Jonathon Porritt reports from China, where, amidst the toxic power stations and burgeoning numbers of cars, he finds some extraordinary and pioneering green solutions. In two provocative and counter-intuitive programmes, Jonathon Porritt flies in the face of international protest and fear at what China is 'doing' to the world's environment in order to properly explore what's actually happening across the vast country. Although the Chinese are avid to grow their economy at all costs, Porritt is convinced that they are effectively leap-frogging the older industrial societies of Europe and America and bringing on real long term environmental solutions, sustainable power and eco design.

The Crescent and the Cross - Part Four  

In the final part of this series, Owen Bennett-Jones examines the Islamic leader who confronted the might of the British Empire. The Mahdi was a devout man, who developed a huge following. This programme examines his rise to power and his clash with the British General, Charles Gordon.

StoryCorps - Part One  

How would you like to leave a record of your life for your great-great-great-grandchildren? That's the future for participants of StoryCorps, an American oral history project. What do people choose to talk about?

Assignment Malvinas War Crimes  

Twenty seven years after Britain and Argentina went to war over the Falklands, or the Malvinas islands, Argentine army officers are facing prosecution. Not for the way they treated the enemy, but for crimes allegedly committed against their own troops.

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