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Documentary
Weekly Highlights
The best of the week on Al Jazeera Documentary.
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2008 12:22

 


In an effort to stimulate dialogue, raise awareness and introduce new ideas to their audience, Al Jazeera Documentary Channel, the first satellite channel in the Middle East and North Africa focused exclusively on documentaries, is already tackling topics normally considered taboo in the Arab World.


The Steel King – Lakshmi Mittal

Once a small Asian steel company, Mittal Steel of India has become the world's largest steel producer through its rapid succession of acquisitions. In 2006 the company startled the world by its hostile takeover bid for Arcelor, the world's second largest steel maker, and its subsequent acquisition.

However, Mittal CEO Laksmhi Mittal rarely agrees to interviews with the media, and the Mittal company remains shrouded in mystery. Including interviews with Wilbur Ross, a top investor and close associate of Mittal, and a report on Polish ironworks Mittal acquired, The Steel King – Lakshmi Mittal unveils the secrets of Mittal Steel's success, the real situation inside its management offices, and its future direction.
    
Broadcast Date / Time : Daily
Monday: June 16, 2008 (17:00 GMT)
Tuesday: June 17, 2008 (13:00 GMT)
Wednesday: June 18, 2008 (05:00 GMT), (21:00 GMT)
Friday: June 20, 2008 (01:00 GMT)
Saturday: June 21, 2008 (11:00 GMT)

The Writing Code

Consider one of, if not the, greatest advance of all time – the written word.

From its inception 5,000 years ago in the "cradle of civilization", to the revolutionary Gutenberg Press, to fortune cookies, the written word has been infused into every aspect of our modern lives.

From the first representational stones to the mathematical codes of the digital age – journey through human history and rediscover the mystery and power of this essential tool.  

Broadcast Date / Time : Daily
Sunday: June 15, 2008 (20:00 GMT)
Monday: June 16, 2008 (16:00 GMT)
Tuesday: June 17, 2008 (08:00 GMT)
Wednesday: June 18, 2008 (00:00 GMT)
Thursday: June 19, 2008 (04:00 GMT)
Friday: June 20, 2008 (12:00 GMT)

Seconds from Disaster (series three)

The Series three of Seconds from Disaster deconstructs, moment-by-moment, the chain of events leading to some of the world's most tragic disasters.

Blending advanced Computer Generated Imaging (CGI), re-enactments, archival footage, forensic science, dramatic eyewitness accounts and expert testimony, the final moments are recreated in gripping detail.

From the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, the site of a deadly terrorist attack, to the deadly collapse of a superstore in Seoul, South Korea, see how disasters are caused by a sequence of events locked together in time.
 
Broadcast Date / Time :
Sunday: June 15, 2008 (17:00 GMT)
Monday: June 16, 2008 (13:00 GMT)
Tuesday: June 17, 2008 (05:00 GMT), (21:00 GMT)
Thursday: June 19, 2008 (01:00 GMT)
Friday: June 20, 2008 (09:00 GMT)

Heat of India: Get 1.1 Billion's Attention

India is emerging as a huge market for companies around the world. Their main target is an enormous population of 1.1 billion. The biggest object of desire for these middle-class consumers: an automobile.

With forecasts predicting sales exceeding five million cars every year in the near future, competition among automakers is fiercely heating up.

Among the competitors are South Korea's Hyundai, which sells car a tall enough to accommodate turban-wearing passengers, Ford Motors, which has zero-interest rate campaign, and Japan's Suzuki Motors, which currently holds a 50 per cent share of the market.

Get 1.1 Billion's Attention shows the heated car chases in India's huge market and the new reality of Indian society.     
  
Broadcast Date / Time : Daily
Friday: June 13, 2008 (02:00 GMT)
Saturday: June 14, 2008 (10:00 GMT)


The House of Obsessive Compulsive

Three people with obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD's) agree to live together as part of a ground-breaking experiment in an attempt to cure them through a new kind of accelerated therapy.

Over the past 20 years, all three have tried medication, assorted therapies and even contemplated brain surgery in order to rid themselves of their OCD.

But Wendy, Gerard and Sophie's journey to overcome the debilitating effects of their illness proves more intense and surprising than anyone, including their doctors, could ever have imagined.
 
Broadcast Date / Time :
Friday: June 13, 2008 (18:00 GMT)
Saturday: June 14, 2008 (14:00 GMT)
Sunday: June 15, 2008 (06:00 GMT), (22:00  GMT)
Tuesday: June 17, 2008 (02:00 GMT)
Wednesday: June 18, 2008 (10:00 GMT)
Friday: June 20, 2008 (18:00 GMT)
Saturday: June 21, 2008 (14:00 GMT)
Sunday: June 22, 2008 (06:00 GMT), (22:00  GMT)
Tuesday: June 24, 2008 (02:00 GMT)
Wednesday: June 25, 2008 (10:00 GMT)

Building Big

How do things stand up? why do they fall down?

How do you build something as tall as a skyscraper or as long and slender as a suspension bridge?

And how can you be sure it's going to work?

Building Big, a five part mini series, will explore these questions and more through the study of the most remarkable structures of the 20th century. 

Broadcast Date / Time : Daily
Thursday: June 12, 2008 (20:00 GMT)
Friday: June 13, 2008 (16:00 GMT)
Saturday: June 14, 2008 (08:00 GMT)
Sunday: June 15, 2008 (00:00 GMT)
Monday: June 16, 2008 (04:00 GMT)
Tuesday: June 17, 2008 (12:00 GMT)
Thursday: June 19, 2008 (20:00 GMT)
Friday: June 20, 2008 (16:00 GMT)
Saturday: June 21, 2008 (08:00 GMT)
Sunday: June 22, 2008 (00:00 GMT)
Monday: June 23, 2008 (04:00 GMT)
Tuesday: June 24, 2008 (12:00 GMT)

My Daughter The Terrorist

What drives anyone to blow themselves up for a cause? In this intimate and personal portrait we join two young catholic elite women soldiers trained for the ultimate mission.
 
My Daughter the Terrorist looks at what life is like inside a guerrilla organisation, and the way the world appears in the eyes of the alleged terrorist. It is a film about unthinkable terrorist acts - and about getting to know and to some extent understand people who are firmly committed to doing the unthinkable.

The Black Tigers were the first ones to sue suicide bombers. The PLO, the Al-Qaeda and the Chechnyans took their cues from the Tamil's tactics. For the first time ever the Tamil Tigers have allowed a foreign film team to dig deep into the lives and faiths of two Black Tigers. 

Broadcast Date / Time : Daily
Thursday: June 12, 2008 (18:00 GMT)
Friday: June 13, 2008 (14:00 GMT)
Saturday: June 14, 2008 (06:00 GMT), (22:00 GMT)
Monday: June 16, 2008 (02:00 GMT)
Tuesday: June 17, 2008 (10:00 GMT)


Bridges of New York

The Bridges of New York shows an evolution of architectural achievements through the prism of the bridges of New York City. We look at four of Manhattan's landmark bridges.

Starting with the steel-suspension proof of concept – the soaring Brooklyn Bridge, and including the George Washington Bridge, the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, and the ultimate curve-around-the-Earth, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

The Bridges of New York is a gorgeous, high-definition event revealing the engineering feats and evolution of materials that made these bridges possible.

We look at the needs of the people who use the bridges, how bridges changed people's lives, and see how the bridges fulfill the intentions of their builders.

Broadcast Date / Time : Daily
Thursday: June 12, 2008 (04:00 GMT)
Friday: June 13, 2008 (12:00 GMT)


Infamous Assassinations 

Notorious Assassinations of the 20th Century

Get ready to witness the 20th Century's most damaging and outrageous assassination attempts, first-hand. From the assassination of John F Kennedy to the gunning down of Mahatma Gandhi, the tragic shooting of John Lennon to the brutal bombing of one of Hitler's henchmen, this series brings you as close to the killers as the cameraman themselves – which sometimes means just a few feet.

Using rare archive footage and the reconstructions, each episode focuses on a different story, from attacks on royalty, politicians, guerrilla leaders to media personalities who all, for one reason or another, stepped in the way of an assassin determined to bring their life to an end. Many of their motives have remained shrouded in mystery. Until now.

Broadcast Date / Time :
Thursday: June 12, 2008 (11:00 GMT)
Saturday: June 14, 2008 (19:00 GMT)
Sunday: June 15, 2008 (15:00 GMT)
Monday: June 16, 2008 (07:00 GMT), (23:00 GMT)
Wednesday: June 18, 2008 (03:00 GMT)
Thursday: June 19, 2008 (11:00 GMT)

Around the Globe with Stephane Peyron

Stephane Peyron takes us to some of the most remarkable and unspoilt places on our planet, visiting local people and learning about their way of life.

In each episode we are taken on a personal voyage of discovery.

From the story of monk crossing Zanskar to the Danakil people, each film reveals the breadth and variety of the world around us.
 
Broadcast Date / Time : Daily
Thursday: June 12, 2008 (14:00 GMT)
Friday: June 13, 2008  (06:00 GMT) , (22:00 GMT)
Sunday: June 15, 2008 (02:00 GMT)
Monday: June 16, 2008 (10:00 GMT)
Wednesday : June 18, 2008 (18:00 GMT)
Thursday: June 19, 2008 (14:00 GMT)
Friday: June 20, 2008  (06:00 GMT) , (22:00 GMT)
Sunday: June 22, 2008 (02:00 GMT)
Monday: June 23, 2008 (10:00 GMT)


Hitler & Mussolini – A Fateful Relationship

They both had leading roles on the stage of world history – the "Fuhrer" and the "Duce". They became the most photographed and most filmed politicians of their time. And still today, each one of them is the subject to countless films and documentaries.

But this is the first time that their relationship is portrayed and analyzed. Would Hitler's rise to power have been possible without historical model  fascism in Italy, without the Duce as a model of a mainstream dictator? How would Mussolini's imperial adventure have turned out without the diabolic involvement with his axis partner?

Thousands of rolls of films in German and Italian archives with and about them have just been discovered. The stories behind these two heads of state are brought to life through these powerful cinematographic documents.

They started out as strangers and rivals, and then student and master, soon allies and partners-in-crime, in the end warlord and vassal. Two men who rose to power with the desire to restore their respective countries to ancient glory instead lead them straight into the abyss. Hitler and Mussolini is a historical epic with numerous original settings, places of triumph and defeat, with landscapes that have become part of history, told in opulent images and impressions.


Broadcast Date / Time : Daily
Friday: June 13, 2008 (03:00 GMT)
Saturday: June 14, 2008 (11:00 GMT)


Hannibal

It is 200 years before the birth of Christ and Rome is the burgeoning superpower of the ancient world. No one can stand in her way. But one man is destined to challenge her reign; a man bound by oath to avenge the wrongs inflicted on his home, Carthage in North Africa – the empire that ruled the Mediterranean before Rome stole its crown; a man whose pathological hatred of Rome knows no bounds.

From his exile in Spain, 26-year-old Hannibal Barca is the mastermind behind what is arguably the most audacious military campaign in history. With 50,000 soldiers and 37 elephants he marches 1,500 miles to challenge his enemies on their own soil - an act so daring that few people believed it possible.

The campaign that follows is so brutally violent and savage it almost denies belief. Hannibal destroys the Roman myth of invincibility by defeating the great nation and army not once, but three times.

But this is not simply a story of grandeur and spectacle. It is the story that touches every emotion. Witness the everyday thoughts and actions of Hannibal's world; from the daily challenges faced by the army on their journey, to Hannibal's own fierce, personal and ultimately destructive rivalry with Scipio Africanus – the only man ever to be victorious over the Carthagian hero.

The public and private, awesome and gritty tale of one of the most brilliant military strategist that ever lived is brought to life here, on an epic scale.
    
Broadcast Date / Time :
Thursday: June 12, 2008 (03:00 GMT)
Friday: June 13, 2008 (11:00 GMT)


Sport Science

Sport Science raises the bar by looking at the sports world through the prism of science. It strips away the lads and the uniforms and goes straight to the heart of the human body to build a profile of the perfect athlete.

Via studio and field tests, through stunning CGI and high definition footage, with the support of A-list athletes and science experts, Sport Science delivers never-before-seen insight into the international world of sports.

Which sport needs the fastest reaction time to survive on the field? which sport does the most damage to an athlete when it comes to impact? What does the perfect athlete look like? How do you figure out the angle of the attack to Bend it like Beckham?

Sport Science answers all these questions and more in a high octane series which explores the extremes of human ability and sports performance through first person exploits. Each episode joins peak performers as they explore more-than-human acts of physical ability and willpower.
  
Broadcast Date / Time : Daily
Thursday: June 12, 2008 (07:00 GMT), (23:00 GMT)
Saturday: June 14, 2008 (03:00 GMT)
Sunday: June 15, 2008 (11:00 GMT)
Tuesday: June 17, 2008 (19:00 GMT)
Wednesday : June 18, 2008 (15:00 GMT)
Thursday: June 19, 2008 (07:00 GMT), (23:00 GMT)
Saturday: June 21, 2008 (03:00 GMT)
Sunday: June 22, 2008 (11:00 GMT)


Struggle for Democracy

Democracy is more than just the right to vote. For a country to be truly democratic, its citizens must have the opportunity to affect the development of their society and to take part in the decisions that concern them.

In four programs we focus on democracy and the democratic processes in South Africa by following four different grass-root organizations struggling to achieve the dream of democracy.

Like other fragile democracies all over the world, Southern Africa faces a number of escalating problems; politically, socially and economically. In spite of the emergence of free elections and democratic institutions, progress in Southern Africa has not been able to meet the expectations of a large number of people, especially from the poorest groups in society. Now discontent is rising and the grassroots organisations are taking action.
 
Broadcast Date / Time : Daily
Thursday: June 12, 2008 (06:00 GMT), (22:00 GMT)
Saturday: June 14, 2008 (02:00 GMT)
Sunday: June 15, 2008 (10:00 GMT)
Tuesday: June 17, 2008 (18:00 GMT)
Wednesday: June 18, 2008 (13:00 GMT)
Thursday: June 19, 2008 (06:00 GMT), (22:00 GMT)
Saturday: June 21, 2008 (02:00 GMT)
Sunday: June 22, 2008 (10:00 GMT)


Living Edens

Planet Earth is still home to places so pure that they have become precious reminders of how all the world – the ancient, timeless Earth – once looked.

From the icy mountains of Denali to the aqua blue seas of Costa Rica, we witness dramas unfold among the animal inhabitants as they have since the beginning of time.

Though the expertise of world-acclaimed natural history filmmakers, we experience the magic of each Living Eden as it is captured on film for future generations. 

Broadcast Date / Time :
Thursday: June 12, 2008 (02:00 GMT)
Friday: June 13, 2008 (10:00 GMT)
Sunday: June 15, 2008 (18:00 GMT)
Monday: June 16, 2008 (14:00 GMT)
Tuesday: June 17, 2008 (06:00 GMT), (22:00 GMT)
Thursday: June 19, 2008 (02:00 GMT)
Friday: June 20, 2008 (10:00 GMT)

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