This documentary for PBS by award-winning filmmaker David Grubin and narrated by Richard Gere, tells the story of the Buddha’s life, a journey that seems especially relevant to our own bewildering times of violent change and spiritual confusion. The film features the work of some of the world’s greatest artists and sculptors, who across two millennia, have depicted the Buddha’s life in art rich in beauty and complexity. Segment 1
Situated deep in the Cambodian jungle, the majestic temple of Angkor Wat was designed to honour the Hindu god Vishnu and took over 30 years to build. (50 min)
Explore the Bamiyan Valley with archaeologist Dr. Tarzi as he digs for a long-forgotten monastery that houses the 1,000 foot Buddha in his ultimate quest to honor the Bamiyan people and their history. Also join Russian archaeologist Victor Sarianidi as he unveils and confirms whether gold treasures found underneath the Presidential palace were indeed the Bactrian Hoard treasure he helped discover and catalog two decades ago. And finally, listen to the different stories of brave Afghani artists and archivists as they recount how they went about protecting and preserving works of art and film archives from certain destruction by the Taliban. (56 min)
A 4 minute documentary on the rock ‘n’ roll legacy of Cambodia. (4 min)
The Smoking Baby. The 2-year-old is more than just a YouTube sensation. He’s also become the unwitting poster child for a 21st century showdown. Vanguard correspondent Christof Putzel travels to Indonesia — the land of smoking toddlers and cigarette sponsored everything — where the stage is set for a David vs. Goliath battle as a small, underfunded group of concerned citizens battle Big Tobacco and a government drunk on profits and denial. “Sex, Lies & Cigarettes” charts Big Tobacco’s attempt to expand its reach into Indonesia, which by all accounts has become the “Wild West” of cigarette marketing and promotion. (44 min)
By the end of this year, single person-households will be the most common living arrangement in South Korea. They will make up 25 per cent of all households, a ratio that’s doubled in the last twenty years. Companies are responding to this trend by for example making ready-to-eat or easy-to-cook food, in smaller serving sizes. But the rapid growth in single-person households also worries the government. A lower marriage rate, in conservative South Korea means a low-birth rate, that equals fewer workers to support an aging population. Al Jazeera’s Florence Looi reports from Seoul.
I’ve been reading the book “Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World” by Jack Weatherford which was a 2004 New York Times best seller. Through extensive research, Weatherford makes a convincing argument that Genghis Khan was an excellent and noble king contrary to the traditional Western image of him as a bloodthirsty pagan.
Pursuing the notion that Genghis Khan was the noblest of kings, this great movie from 2007, spoken in Mongolian with English subtitles brings the beauty and brutality of ancient Mongolia to life. The epic film recounts the story of a young Genghis Khan and how events in his early life lead him to become a legendary conqueror. The 9-year-old Temüjin is taken on a trip by his father to select a girl as his future wife. He meets Börte, who says she would like to be chosen, which he does. He promises to return after five years to marry her. Temüjin’s father is poisoned on the trip, and dies. As a boy Temüjin passes through starvation, humiliations and even slavery, but later with the help of Börte he overcomes all of his childhood hardships to become one of the greatest conquerors the world has ever known.
In this episode, Dr Alice Roberts’ journey continues into Asia, the world’s greatest land mass, in a quest to discover how early hunter-gatherers managed to survive in one of the most inhospitable places on earth, the Arctic region of Northern Siberia.
Alice also explores what may have occurred during early human migration to produce Asian physical characteristics, and considers a controversial claim about evolution; that the Chinese do not share the same African ancestry as other peoples. (59 min)
Founded in 1976, India’s Aravind Eye Care System has gone from a single tiny clinic to the largest eye care provider on Earth. Its surgeons are among the most productive in the world, with fewer complications than British doctors. But what’s truly astonishing about Aravind is that nearly half of the 300,000 procedures it conducts every year are free. Aravind treats everyone from presidents to paupers, regardless of what they can pay. 101 East takes you inside Aravind to meet patients, practitioners, and see how a singular vision is restoring sight to millions who could otherwise never afford it. (25 min)