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Merely Remarkable

Rat
Rat
1998
56m | Documentary
Captures the stories of New Yorkers who must fight off, and sometimes lose, to the resilient rats that pervade through the city’s sewers, streets, and buildings. Camera angles take the viewer behind the scenes of this phenomenon, beyond the walls, through the pipes and down into the underground on the trail of these reviled and feared rodents. By turns unsettling and amusing, Rat builds on the nature film genre, portraying unlikely adversaries in an urban power struggle.
Team Qatar
Team Qatar
2009-01-01
54m 58s | Sport
As part of its ambitious commitment to education, the government of Qatar hired a team of recent Oxford grads to coach the country's first national high school debate team. Led by the springy, quintessentially witty Brit Alex, the five multicultural 15- to 17-year-olds are setting their sights high: their very first competitive debate will take place at the World Schools Debating Championship in Washington, DC. Follow the group on a whirlwind crash course in debate that takes them from Doha to London and New York. Can this effervescent group of teens handle the pressure and succeed on the world stage?
Cane Toads: An Unnatural History
Cane Toads: An Unnatural History
1998
47m | Documentary
Using low camera angles to capture this story from the cane toad’s perspective, this film documents the unexpected and uncontrollable spread of the species throughout Australia. After being introduced as a predator to a beetle that was ravaging sugar cane plantations, these oversized amphibians drastically multiplied; leading to devastating consequences for local ecosystems. Equally humorous and horrific, it paints a captivating and original picture of an infamously grotesque animal.
The English Surgeon
The English Surgeon
2007-01-01
1h 26m 13s | Medical
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, English brain surgeon Henry Marsh has been visiting Ukraine to perform operations and improve the country'€™s outdated neurosurgery facilities and practices. Conditions are strained; Dr. Igor Kurilets, Henry'€™s Ukrainian partner, has to use an off-the-shelf power drill rather than a medical one. The film also looks at the difficulties of the doctor-patient relationship, especially when delivering life-changing or -ending news. The ethical dilemmas of working in a country where much of the Soviet state apparatus still exists are immense, but these doctors will not allow themselves to be held back.
Outside the Court
Outside the Court
2011
1h | Documentary
Based on a simple idea: standing outside the magistrates court and asking people going in and out why they're there and what got them there, Outside the Court becomes a film full of raw, unfiltered personalities who challenge pre-existing assumptions about criminality and criminals. This is a totally transparent piece of filmmaking, there is even a cameraman filming the cameraman.
Animalicious
Animalicious
1999
52m | Documentary
From a Californian woman whose dear chihuahua gets devoured by the neighbour’s boa constrictor, to a wild, shotgun-wielding turkey, these stories are as tragic as they are terrifying. An unexpected combination of reflections on justice, fate, co-existence and forgiveness, this documentary bewilders and amuses the viewer as we are shown a side of animal life we rarely see.
The Beauty Academy of Kabul
The Beauty Academy of Kabul
2004
1h 14m | Documentary
Sponsored by U.S.-based cosmetic companies, a delegation of American volunteers embarks on an ambitious mission to start Afghanistan’s very first Western-style beautician school after the fall of the Taliban. Keen to help Afghan women see themselves and others in a new, liberated light, these outgoing but often blundering Americans sometimes find themselves in conflict with their students, who struggle to move past their deep-rooted ideas of modesty and internalized gender inequality as they strive to learn how to construct beauty by Western standards.
Changemakers: Movement
Changemakers: Movement
2002
1h | Documentary
Around the globe, there are people who dedicate themselves to making a difference in their community, and to benefiting the lives of others. Their mission is not a quest for money, fame or any personal gain. They are changemakers. This is the ground-breaking series that changed the way the BBC makes global films.
Changemakers: Communication
Changemakers: Communication
2002
1h | Documentary
Around the globe, there are people who dedicate themselves to making a difference in their community, and to benefiting the lives of others. Their mission is not a quest for money, fame or any personal gain. They are changemakers. This is the ground-breaking series that changed the way the BBC makes global films.
The Wonderful World of Dogs
The Wonderful World of Dogs
1990
52m | Documentary
Unveiling the magic behind the unrivalled bond between man and his best friend, this film is a heart-warming and multi-faceted portrait of one of the world’s most popular pets. Made up of dogs that bark, dominate, foul, and roam around their vast territory, this documentary stays true to Mark Lewis’ singular comedic genre of nature film.
The Chinese Mayor
The Chinese Mayor
2015-01-01
1h 25m 55s | Politics
The Chinese Mayor tells the story of the controversial Chinese Communist Mayor Geng Yanbo and his radical attempts at reform, demolishing 140,000 households and relocating half a million people to restore the city's ancient walls. Believing that clean economic growth from tourism and culture will do Datong's citizenship well in the long term, the displacements are his attempt to revitalise the city's economy and tackle its pollution problems. Following in the footsteps of Geng over two years, the film outlines the complex shape of China's future.
The Biggest Chinese Restaurant In The World
The Biggest Chinese Restaurant In The World
1 season
Series about China's largest restaurant looks to the future with a banquet for a new baby and the anniversary show organised by the West Lake to celebrate its third year. Managers, chefs and waiting staff take to the stage in an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza rounded off with a star turn by the owner, Qin Linzi. The restaurant addresses the high rate of staff turnover and gives the waiting staff a pay rise, while Qin discusses how important it is for her to drink with her customers.
Changemakers: Identity
Changemakers: Identity
2000
1h | Documentary
Around the globe, there are people who dedicate themselves to making a difference in their community, and to benefiting the lives of others. Their mission is not a quest for money, fame or any personal gain. They are changemakers. This is the ground-breaking series that changed the way the BBC makes global films.
The Road
The Road
2012
1h 15m | Documentary
Isaacs introduces a diverse number of characters who have made their way to London, from all over the world, in order to seek a better life. There's a young Irish woman who dreams of becoming a singer, who takes a job pulling pints in Cricklewood, serving the generations of Irish people who came over before her; a lonely Irish ex construction worker loosing his battle to booze; a man from Kashmir working in a hotel, trying to earn enough money so his wife can join him; an elderly Jewish woman who fled Vienna when Hitler was in power; and a glamorous retired German air stewardess living with her estranged husband. Fused with wonderful moments of humour and equally heartbreaking moments where broken dreams are revealed, this is a study of immigration that manages to be highly affecting, whilst avoiding being polemical or didactic.
Office Tigers Episode 4
Office Tigers Episode 4
2006
28m | Documentary
Commitment to Clients: A key ethos of the Office Tigers’ Managers is an absolute commitment to their clientele. In this episode we see just how far employees will go in their attempts to stand out from the crowds. From working lengthy days to sleeping in the office, how do you set yourself apart from the crowd in an environment where selfishness and backstabbing is encouraged?
Little Pyongyang
Little Pyongyang
2018
24m | Documentary
Joong-wha Choi, a former soldier in the DPRK, lives today with his wife and kids in a sleepy London suburb. Despite enjoying the new found comforts of his British life, and being emancipated from the pressures of the North Korean state, his dilemma lies in a desire to return to the land that betrayed him, but is undoubtedly his true home. The film tracks his reflections on both why he left North Korea and the state of his day to day life over the course of several months, in what is ultimately a portrait of loss, longing, and the complexities of healing from trauma.
The Genius and The Boys
The Genius and The Boys
2009-01-01
1h 29m 10s | Crime
The documentary investigates the late American Nobel laureate Daniel Carleton Gajdusek's enigmatic discoveries and fall from grace. Gajdusek uncovered prions, the source of mad cow disease, on Papua New Guinea in the fifties, as well as twenty previously unknown tribes and languages. From the late 1940s and onwards he travelled the world, focusing on the most isolated peoples remaining on the globe. He adopted fifty-seven children at his commune at the National Institutes of Health, MA, USA - most of them boys. The film reveals how Gajdusek was in fact a self-proclaimed pedophile, who admitted to having had sex with numerous children.
Liz Smith’s Summer Cruise
Liz Smith’s Summer Cruise
2009
1h | Merely Remarkable
A film about age, loneliness and an old lady at sea, this is a celebrity travelogue like you’ve never seen before. Liz Smith is a familiar face from The Vicar of Dibley and The Royle Family, known for playing elderly women (who are always eventually killed off). Now 87, her life has been an eventful one – but she’s never had a real holiday. This is her chance to fulfil her modest ambition on a cruise across the Adriatic to Venice. Will the holiday be worth leaving her sheltered accommodation for? How can it ever live up to her dreams?
Office Tigers Episode 3
Office Tigers Episode 3
2006
28m
Accountability: How do businesses cope when everything goes wrong? In this episode we see the extreme lengths employees will go to, in an attempt to save face in front of their illustrious clients. Sometimes working 20-hour days to rise through the ranks, is there anything more to these lives than business?
Lift
Lift
2001
25m | Documentary
When filmmaker Marc Isaacs embarks on a mission to capture the dynamics of everyday life in a London tower block, his original approach reaps wonderfully unexpected results. Setting up in the lift, he waits for the opportune moment to converse with the residents. By turns humorous and moving, these casual encounters capture the many facets of a multicultural British society.
Cane Toads: The Conquest
Cane Toads: The Conquest
2010
1h 20m 13s
The first 3D-ready film shot in Australia, Cane Toads: The Conquest follows the uncontrollable expansion of these enormous, reviled amphibians through the country. Leaving environmental devastation in their wake, and now occupying nearly a third of the country, the cane toad continues to grow in size and resilience. Part documentary and part horror, this film details the destructive invasion of a species initially introduced as a counter pest.
Killing Gävle
Killing Gävle
2017
20m | Documentary
In the city of Gävle, Sweden, there is an annual fight between local custodians and mischievous pagans for the spirit of Christmas. Each year since 1966, local business owners have paid for a 40ft straw goat to be made and displayed in the main square for the Holiday season. In 37 of those years, the goat has been burned down or damaged by shadowy outsiders. These goat-burners are pagans who see the giant statue as an accidental effigy to the ancient Norse gods, which must be sacrificed before the end of the year to ensure the return of the sun. In this film, residents from both sides of the goat conflict explain their hopes and motivations as Advent ticks down to Christmas…
Kings Of Pastry
Kings Of Pastry
2009-01-01
1h 23m 30s | food
D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus turn their sights on the competition for the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOF), France’s Nobel Prize for pastry. Sixteen chefs whip up the most gorgeous, gravity-defying concoctions, with much edge-of-the-seat drama as they deliver their fantastical, spun-sugar sweets to the display table. The inevitable disasters prove both hilarious and poignant and the desserts beat Great British Bake Off hands-down.
The Natural History of the Chicken
The Natural History of the Chicken
2000
1h | Documentary
Through the use of re-enactments and interviews, eclectic characters tell stories about the role of chickens in their lives. Exploring the history behind one of America’s most popular foods, the film portrays these birds as being far more than just a source of nutrition. From supernatural stories of resuscitation and headless running fowl, to a woman who prefers their company to their taste, The Natural History of the Chicken paints a far more nuanced picture of poultry than one would imagine.
Office Tigers Episode 1
Office Tigers Episode 1
2006
28m | Documentary
Meritocracy: In this episode we meet Joseph Sigelman, the CEO of Office Tigers. Whilst touring his expansive workspace, he keeps an eagle eye on his employees' business attire. Ruthlessly calling out his sub-par minions, much to their embarrassment.
Changemakers: Leisure
Changemakers: Leisure
2002
1h | Documentary
Around the globe, there are people who dedicate themselves to making a difference in their community, and to benefiting the lives of others. Their mission is not a quest for money, fame or any personal gain. They are changemakers. This is the ground-breaking series that changed the way the BBC makes global films.
The Red Chapel
The Red Chapel
2009-01-01
1h 27m 34s | Political
A journalist with no scruples, a disabled man and a comedian travel to North Korea with a mission to challenge the sense of humour of the world's most notorious regime. Pretending to be a theatre group on an exchange visit from Denmark, The Red Chapel was granted permission to visit North Korea to perform in front of selected audiences. Truth is, the 'troupe' had no such intentions. Two members, Jacob and Simon, were adopted from North Korea as children and so are confronted by their biological roots as they attempt to act in a country where performance is a very serious business. The Red Chapel is the story of the meeting between open-mindedness and a hyper-controlled society, chronicling the bizarre encounters between Danes and their North Korean hosts in a bizarre form of cultural exchange.
McLibel
McLibel
2005-01-01
1h 24m 37s | historic
The 'McLibel' case was the longest in English history. The full legal weight of McDonalds, the world’s largest food chain, was brought down on two London activists for distributing leaflets denouncing the company and its practices. This film follows the defendants – who were representing themselves – throughout the court process, both againt McDonalds and later against the British government. The wider context of the case is covered, revealing exactly why the case was judged 'the worst corporate PR disaster in history'. With courtroom reenactments directed by Ken Loach, this film reveals the extreme lengths – including corporate spies – McDonald's will go to win the suit.
Office Tigers Episode 2
Office Tigers Episode 2
2006
28m | Documentary
Integrity: In this episode we see the fallout of collisions between American business traditions and the ideals of employees in the developing world. We learn the complexity of balancing all parties’ expectations and what can happen when it all goes wrong.
Horses
Horses
2010
1h 27m | Documentary
Famed for its thoroughbreds, Ireland is the birthplace of some of horseracing’s most celebrated steeds. Horses portrays this tradition through the eyes of its hooved protagonists, the people that surround them taking on secondary roles in the narrative. An exploration of equine character, this film paints an intimate picture of a racehorse’s daily life. Training veteran Paul Nolan guides the small but swift Ardalan, the potentially record-breaking Joncol, and the difficult Cuan na Graí on their paths to greatness. Full of grace and promise, these beasts are as charismatic as they are quirky. Blurring the lines of perception between human and animal, Mermin delves into the age-old bond between people and horses.
Kumaré
Kumaré
2011-01-01
1h 23m 59s | Religious
Growing up in New Jersey, Vikram Gandhi was a typical American kid who resented the way his family tried to enforce Hindu beliefs and practices. He found it ironic that Americans began to popularize gurus and yoga just at the time he was growing away from such things. On a trip to India, he says, he found that 'real' gurus were no more real than the American frauds who copied them. That led him into the deliberate deception that he filmed in 'Kumare.' He grew a long beard and a pony-tail, exchanged his shoes for sandals, switched his slacks and suits to flowing orange robes and started carrying an ornate walking stick, before moving to Arizona, and hiring a PR woman to promote him as a guru.
Pablo's Hippos
Pablo's Hippos
2011-01-01
1h 18m 35s | Animals
From one beast to another, Pablo's Hippos is a satirical look at thirty years of Colombia's bloody and painful history seen from the semi-submerged viewpoint of a hippopotamus. A tale of a ferocious, irresistible, territorial animal, Pablo Escobar, and the depths to which he and his bloat were prepared to plunge for him to become the undisputed alpha male in the most ruthless business in the world, the cocaine trade. Pablo's Hippos is told by Pablo, the alpha male of three hippopotami shipped to the country home and nerve center of Escobar's drugs empire in 1980. As the most powerful beast in Escobar's private zoo it is a story of unthinkable riches, unabated sex, political intrigue, death, destruction, corruption, treachery and the ultimate legacy of a life dedicated to crime – a hippo epidemic that nobody can stop.
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