The Documentary: Archive 2014

The Documentary: Archive 2014

United Kingdom

The BBC World Service's wide range of documentaries from 2014.


Tupac Shakur: Hip Hop Immortal  

Tupac Shakur trained as an actor, posed as a street thug and became a best selling rapper, but he died in 1996. Mythologised and revered, is Tupac a modern Black American folk hero?

Musa's Money  

The richest man of all time was 14th Century monarch King Mansa Musa, who reigned over Mali from 1312 to 1337. His fortune came from gold and salt, and control of trade routes.

The Lipinski  

A startling 300-year journey of a Stradivarius violin through the lives of geniuses, dictators, refugees, and the Milwaukee thieves who stole it from violinist Frank Almond.

Surviving the Most Lethal Route in the World  

One boat, two families; trying to escape war in Syria, desperate to start a new life in Europe. In October 2013, dozens of migrants aboard that boat died, as it travelled across the Mediterranean Sea. But some eventually made it to Malta. What happened next?

The Great War Diaries  

How ordinary people – soldiers, mothers, nurses, even children – experienced World War One and the little-known human side of the world's first truly global conflict. With stories of love, loss, hope and fervour.

Abdi and the Golden Ticket  

Assignment follows Abdi Nor, a winner of the annual US green card lottery, as he attempts to escape from a life of poverty in Kenya and realise the American dream.

Karaoke as Art?  

Is karaoke now an art form? Music critic Katie Puckrik hits the clubs in Portland, Oregon, to find out.

The Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra  

The Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste or Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra, is the only symphony orchestra in Central Africa. It was founded in the mid-1990s by Armande Diangienda. In the beginning a small handful of would be musicians, made long arduous daily journeys to rehearsals that lasted seven hours, Monday to Friday. They waited patiently to take turns on the few available instruments - and gradually taught themselves to play.

Global Beats: Lisbon  

Music pulsates in Lisbon, from the traditional and dramatic Fado to the contemporary Kuduro – a strain of Angolan dance music that combines electronic music with Caribbean inflections, born in the late 1980s. Musicians, such as the modern fadist and guitar player Lula Pena, the post-bossa nova Antonio Zambujo, and the incandescent Buraka Som Sistema, echo this rich musical landscape.

Mothers of Jihadists  

An international NGO, Women without Borders, based in Vienna, with years of experience working in the field of counter terrorism, is pioneering a strategy of using mothers of Jihadist fighters and supporters to help counter the radicalisation of young men and women.

The Knights of New Russia  

Tim Whewell gains rare access to the shadowy world of Russia's radical nationalists fighting in eastern Ukraine for Novorossiya, or New Russia, and a dream of empires past.

Afghan Women: Speaking Out, Losing Lives  

A vivid portrait of the everyday lives of girls and women at a turning point in Afghan history. Lyse Doucet visits Kabul to see how the lives of Afghan girls and women have changed since the fall of the Taliban 13 years ago, and to hear concerns that these hard-won gains are already being threatened as the troops depart.

Greyhound 100  

For 100 years, an intriguing mix of people have been criss-crossing the US by Greyhound bus. To mark the company's centenary, Laura Barton sets off on an unplanned journey ‘to look for America’. She is conscious of the discrepancy between what the bus line represents in the collective imagination – an idea of freedom, adventure and possibility – and the realities of cross-country coach travel.

Washington Redskins  

Mike Wendling explores the controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins. It's one of the most popular American football teams but many Native Americans say the name is racist.

Reclaiming the Swastika  

For most people in the West, the swastika remains inextricably linked to the atrocities committed by the Nazis. But there have been calls to reclaim the symbol from its Nazi links and restore its origin as an ancient symbol for good luck. For many, such a suggestion is an outrageous affront to good taste. Can these two views ever be reconciled?

Number Crunched  

In the wake of the global economic crisis, what does capitalism mean to us today? Stand-up comedian Colm O’Regan visits the Kilkenomics Festival of economics and comedy in Kilkenny, Ireland, and heads to New York to ask what people really understand about capitalism.

MINT - Turkey  

For centuries, Turkish traders have exploited their location on the historic Silk Road between east and west, selling to merchants travelling in both directions. As Jim O'Neill reports, Turkey's geography remains important to this day as the country becomes an aviation hub, a conduit for gas and oil, and a unique visitor destination. Yet Turkish plans go much further too. So can this ambitious country combine its deep-rooted trading skills with ultra modern technology to develop world-beating manufacturers? Or will its much lauded potential remain just that?

The World’s Most Dangerous Hospital  

For Assignment, Chris Rogers goes undercover to reveal the hidden shame of Guatemala’s hospital for the mentally ill.

Graffiti: Kings on a Mission  

In 1974, New York City became the canvas for a new generation of Graffiti pioneers. Who were the teens behind the 'tags' - now the veterans of the scene? Why did they create this movement? We meet some of those who defied the law (and their parents) and diced with death to chase fame and acceptance of their peers.

The Cult of Pablo Escobar  

Two decades after the death of notorious drug baron Pablo Escobar in 1993, he still looms large in the Colombian psyche. In some quarters, there is an ambivalence towards this ruthless killer, an admiration for the man who made an estimated US $20 billion and built homes for the poor. But many reject the Robin Hood image, and see his legacy as deeply corrosive. Linda Pressly meets victims, a cartel-insider, and Pablo Escobar’s sister as she finds out how the story of this most notorious drug baron still resonates in the city of Medellin.

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