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Rank #43 in History category

Society & Culture
News
History

The Documentary Podcast

Updated 2 days ago

Rank #43 in History category

Society & Culture
News
History
Read more

Download the latest documentaries investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Read more

Download the latest documentaries investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

iTunes Ratings

1162 Ratings
Average Ratings
819
166
70
46
61

Insightful Broad perspective

By telmonPA - Mar 19 2020
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The Documentary provides lovely, intimate stories about real people around the world.

Well produced, entertaining

By Perri Perrita - Jan 31 2020
Read more
Always learn something. The episode on Judy Garland was exceptionally well done.

iTunes Ratings

1162 Ratings
Average Ratings
819
166
70
46
61

Insightful Broad perspective

By telmonPA - Mar 19 2020
Read more
The Documentary provides lovely, intimate stories about real people around the world.

Well produced, entertaining

By Perri Perrita - Jan 31 2020
Read more
Always learn something. The episode on Judy Garland was exceptionally well done.
Cover image of The Documentary Podcast

The Documentary Podcast

Latest release on Oct 20, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 2 days ago

Rank #1: The Dyatlov Pass mystery

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In 1959, a group of nine Russian students met a mysterious death in the Ural mountains. Experienced cross-country skiers, their bodies were found scattered around a campsite, their tent cut from the inside, as they seemingly panicked to escape from someone – or something. Sixty years on, Lucy Ash traces their footsteps to try to find out what happened.

Jul 14 2019

50mins

Play

Rank #2: In search of the quarter-life crisis

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We’re told that our twenties are a time when we’re meant to be finding ourselves, having fun, living our best lives and making the most of our freedom before settling down. But are the twenties really like this for millennials around the world?

You might have heard of the midlife crisis, said to hit anywhere between a person’s forties and early fifties. But in this programme, we’re trying to find out whether there’s such a thing as a quarter-life crisis.

We’ll hear from young people about their experiences of the crisis and the pressures they say led them to it, from finding a fulfilling job, to landing the perfect partner, to fears they’ll never be able to buy a house and start to actually ‘adult’. We’ll hear experiences from Moscow, Cairo, New York, and London to see if this really is a worldwide issue.

We’ll speak to experts about the evidence for whether it actually exists, including a pscyhologist who calls the quarter-life crisis a ‘global phenomenon’. Is this true, or are millennials just moaning and trying to find a new label for problems every generation has faced? We’ll dig in to the reasons people are feeling in crisis, and hear words of wisdom from those who have overcome it.

This documentary is airing as part of Life Changes, a series of programmes and features across the BBC’s global networks exploring the theme of change - how we change ourselves, our lives, and how we respond to changes in the world around us. Reporting from across the world - from Ethiopia, Korea, Rwanda and Paraguay to Egypt, the US and Russia – it covers everything from sexuality to sustainability, from peace to war, and from neurodiversity to migration.

Presented by Katerina Venediktova.
Produced by Eleanor Layhe for BBC World Service.

Apr 21 2020

50mins

Play

Rank #3: Confessions of a mafia boss

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Across Italy hundreds of mafia leaders, hitmen and drug-traffickers are being jailed thanks to the most powerful weapon now in the hands of Italy’s anti-mafia investigators: the words of one clan against another. Italy’s state collaborator scheme has seen mafia chiefs breaking the code of silence - in return for a lifetime in witness protection, rather than a life behind bars. For Assignment, Dominic Casciani gets exclusive access to an anti-mafia prison to meet one of Naples' most important “Penitents” - a boss and killer whose evidence has jailed his associates. In the city itself, he witnesses, alongside hardened investigators, the ongoing nightly battle against the Camorra - and also hears voices of hope across the city that the tide has finally turned.

Presenter: Dominic Casciani
Producer: Sheila Cook

Image: Gennaro Panzuto
Credit: Private

Feb 27 2020

26mins

Play

Rank #4: Coronavirus and Europe

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Experts discuss the challenges posed by and the consequences of the outbreak of Covid-19 in Europe. BBC correspondent Jonny Dymond is joined by a panel of experts from across the continent who answer questions from the public.

The panel:
Dunja Mijatovic: Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe
Margaret Harris: World Health Organisation
Richard Horton: Editor in Chief of The Lancet
Nathalie Tocci: Political analyst and Director of the Institute of International Affairs
Danae Kyriakopoulou: Economist from OMFIF, the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, an independent financial think tank

BBC World Questions is a series of international events created in partnership with the British Council.

Apr 11 2020

50mins

Play

Rank #5: World War Two: The economic battle

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The story of World War Two is usually told in terms of heroism on the battlefield, but perhaps the most important struggle was the economic battle. Across the world countries were fighting to feed their populations, maximise production from their factories and fund their armies. To mark the 80th anniversary of the start of World War Two, economist Duncan Weldon examines how the economies of the European powers, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Soviet Union, set the scene for the conduct of the war in 1939 and 1940.

Sep 22 2019

50mins

Play

Rank #6: ADHD and me

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For many years ADHD was dismissed by sceptics as a dubious condition. Later, when it achieved recognition, if not acceptance, the focus was very much on the negative impact it had on the lives of people it affected and their close ones.

As Saeedeh Hashemi - herself diagnosed with ADHD - will show, there is now increasing understanding that living with the condition also brings positives.

Saeedeh will meet others who, for all the downsides of the disorder, feel that life without it would be like “living cramped within a frame” and who would not give it up as it has fundamentally shaped their personalities.

She will also talk to top medical professionals to hear how they are seeking to recognise the positive potential of ADHD and what innovative ways of treating the condition they’re suggesting.

The modern working environment has shifted and employers are finally embracing neuro-diversity as a vital tool in building effective teams. Saeedeh will explore what it actually means, how the thinking about workflow, work space and team work reflects the needs of people with the condition and allows them to grow to the best of their potential and to the benefit of business.

The programme, of course, certainly won’t suggest that ADHD is entirely a gift. It will, however, seek to emphasise that alongside negatives come strengths and qualities that can help propel individuals to enormous personal success, and how society and businesses are beginning to see it as an opportunity rather than a disadvantage.

This documentary is airing as part of Life Changes, a series of programmes and features across the BBC’s global TV, radio, social and online networks exploring the theme of change - how we change ourselves, our lives, and how we respond to changes in the world around us. Reporting from across the world - from Ethiopia, Korea, Rwanda and Paraguay to Egypt, the US and Russia – the documentaries and digital stories will cover a diverse range of topics, from sexuality to sustainability, from peace to war, and from neurodiversity to migration.

Apr 08 2020

27mins

Play

Rank #7: When Africa meets China

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Everyone knows how China is changing Africa but what is less well known is how Africa is changing China. Linda Yueh uncovers the growing number of African’s who are moving to work and live in China. She investigates problems some African’s are having obtaining Chinese visas, and instances of perceived racism. She also hears success stories of African businessman now employing local Chinese workers and reasons why Africans prefer China over western countries to make their life. But are the Chinese willing to accept living side by side with a new African community keen to explore opportunities in their homeland?

Jul 28 2019

50mins

Play

Rank #8: Universal Basic Income: Alaska style

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There is growing interest in the idea of giving every member of society a Basic Income, as a way of tackling extreme poverty and the loss of jobs caused by automation. Pilot projects have been seen across the world - from India to Finland and Namibia to Canada - and there is talk of a one possibly happening here in the UK, in the city of Hull. So, attention is being paid to the Alaskan model. The Arctic American state has been paying out an annual dividend to every one of its permanent residents - man, woman and child - for almost 40 years.

Apr 29 2020

37mins

Play

Rank #9: Slavery's untold story

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In Oklahoma, Tayo Popoola discovers the story of the slaves owned by the Cherokee Indian tribe. Since the emancipation of the slaves in the 19th Century, there has been an often uneasy relationship between the so called “Freedmen” and their former masters, both racial minorities with long histories of persecution in the US. In 2017 the Freedmen won a long battle to be admitted as full members of the Cherokee tribe.

May 14 2019

28mins

Play

Rank #10: The world turned upside down

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For more than a century, the world has revolved around fossil fuels. Wars have been fought over them. The nations that had oil and gas had power. They controlled the price, they controlled the supply and could tell their customers what to do. What will happen as countries around world develop enough renewable energy to end their dependence on hydrocarbons?

Jan 03 2020

50mins

Play

Rank #11: North Korea's celebrity defectors

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According to South Korea’s Ministry of Unification, there are more than 30,000 North Korean defectors living in the South. The lack of access to North Korea makes defectors one of the few windows to what life is like in the secretive regime. As a result, the defectors and their stories have become a hugely valuable commodity in South Korea’s popular culture and media.

There are a number of popular reality TV programmes starring North Korean defectors. Hyun-joo Yu is one of the most established stars on Now on My Way to Meet You, a popular and long running variety programme. The show features emotional North Korean defectors sharing their stories and performing to dramatic music. At the same time, the South Korean celebrity guests provide commentary and sometimes jokes.

Meanwhile, on the Internet, dozens of North Korean defectors have gained popularity through live streaming, telling stories about their lives in the North on YouTube and Instagram. These defector-celebrities, like 21-year-old Nara Kang, are mostly young, attractive women. Representing a younger generation of defectors, Nara Kang is tapping into an audience with no living memory of the North.

Capitalising on their status as defectors to gain fame, these celebrities cannot move on from being defined by their past. They strive to fit into South Korean society, while emphasising their otherness to South Korean audiences.

Mar 26 2020

50mins

Play

Rank #12: Colombia’s new cocaine war

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Colombia produced a record 1.5 million kilograms of cocaine last year - about 70% of the world’s supply. In the regions where coca is grown, gangs fight for control of territory and smuggling routes, killing anyone who stands in their way. These are some of the most dangerous places in South America. A peace deal signed in 2016 with the FARC rebel group was meant to reduce coca growing by offering farmers alternatives. But instead, cocaine production has rocketed, flooding markets in the US and Europe.

In this Assignment, Michael Buchanan investigates what’s behind Colombia’s booming cocaine trade. He gains rare access to smugglers and producers, as well as meeting the indigenous people who are standing up to the traffickers, and often paying with their lives.

Producers: Josephine Casserly and Almudena Garcia Parrado
Editor: Bridget Harney

(Image: Farmer picking coca leaves. Credit: BBC)

Jan 30 2020

26mins

Play

Rank #13: The Death Row book club

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When Anthony Ray Hinton was sentenced to death for a double murder, he used his time behind bars to create a book club for his fellow death row inmates. It was to get him through 28 years of solitary confinement. Now a free man after the State of Alabama dropped all charges against him, he takes listeners back to the echoing corridors of death row and introduces them to his book club.

May 26 2020

27mins

Play

Rank #14: The spy of Raspberry Falls

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Kevin Mallory lived a double life - he helped people on his street with yard work, went to church and showed off his dogs. Yet at home he communicated with Chinese agents through social media and sold them US secrets. Tara McKelvey tells the story of how Mallory was recruited, deployed and eventually caught by the FBI. It is a very human story of a man who thought he had found an answer to his problems only to find himself trapped. We hear about simple mistakes he made which blew his cover. We hear from his neighbours how he disintegrated under the pressure, to the point of beating the dogs he loved.

Jul 30 2019

27mins

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Rank #15: Romania's killer roads

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Everybody in Romania knows someone who has died in a road accident. The country has the highest road death rate in the European Union – twice the EU average and more than three times that in the UK. A young businessman, Stefan Mandachi, has built a metre long stretch of motorway near his home in the rural north-east of the country, as a visual protest against political inaction and corruption. For Assignment,Tessa Dunlop travels to one of Romania’s poorest regions, Moldova, to meet this new champion of road safety, and the families who have paid the highest price for the country’s poor transport networks. Producer, John Murphy (Image: In Romania horse and carts share the roads with fast moving cars – not always happily. Credit : BBC/John Murphy)

Aug 22 2019

30mins

Play

Rank #16: Belarus: The wild world of Chernobyl

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Ninety year old Galina is one of the last witnesses to the wild natural world that preceded the Chernobyl zone in southern Belarus. 'We lived with wolves' she says 'and moose, and elk and wild boars.' Soviet development destroyed that ecosystem. Forests and marshland were tamed and laid to farmland and industrial use. But when the Chernobyl reactor exploded in 1986, the human population was evacuated; their villages were buried beneath the earth as though they had never existed. A generation on, it seems that the animals Galina knew are returning. But how are they are affected by their radioactive environment? And what can we infer about the state of the land? Monica Whitlock visits the strange new wilderness emerging in the heart of Europe.

Producer/presenter: Monica Whitlock
Editor: Bridget Harney

(Photo: Galina at the door to her cottage. Credit: Monica Whitlock/BBC)

Jan 09 2020

26mins

Play

Rank #17: China and the virus

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Has the coronavirus epidemic weakened or strengthened the grip of China’s Communist Party? In the early stages of the outbreak in the city of Wuhan, authorities there downplayed its significance. A doctor who sounded the alarm was forced to contradict himself. He later contracted Covid-19 and died from it. Medical facilities were initially unprepared. Mark Mardell assesses how President Xi and his government will emerge from the crisis.

Apr 22 2020

27mins

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Rank #18: Riding the Motel 22: Homeless in California

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‘Motel 22’ is an unusual shelter for California’s homeless people. The state is one of the wealthiest in America yet it has the largest population of homeless people – more than 151,000 - in the US. In the Silicon Valley the bus route 22 runs an endless loop from Palo Alto to the Valley’s biggest city, San Jose. Along the way it passes some of the world’s biggest tech giants: Google, Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Facebook. It is the Valley’s only all night bus and many of its night-time passengers ride to keep warm and sleep. For Assignment, Sarah Svoboda takes a ride on the bus, known to many as ‘Motel 22’, to hear the stories of its travellers.

(Image: Homeless people riding bus route 22. Credit: Sarah Svoboda/BBC)

Feb 20 2020

26mins

Play

Rank #19: Morocco’s hash trail to Europe

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In Amsterdam’s cafes, you can buy hashish openly, over the counter. But go around back to see how the drug comes in, and you’ll get a lot of smoke blown in your face. The entire supply chain is illegal. BBC Arabic’s Emir Nader holds his breath and traces it thousands of kilometres back to the mountains of Morocco, where cannabis is grown and processed into bricks of hash. There, he finds farmers in poverty and officials claiming "there is no organised crime" in the country. In between, he joins Spanish police as they knock down doors looking for the drug and meets a former smuggler who explains how for years he eluded Europe’s authorities to bring in millions of dollars’ worth of Moroccan hash.

Producer: Neal Razzell

(Image: Spanish police conduct a series of raids hoping to disrupt hash smuggling from Morocco. Credit: BBC)

Jun 13 2019

26mins

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Rank #20: Germany: Justice and memory

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This year, 2020, sees the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two. Its legacy remains. Nowhere more so than in Germany, where the rise of Nazism led to the war, and terrible crimes against humanity. Chris Bowlby explores how post-war Germans have faced this inheritance and discovers how a search for justice in relation to Nazi crimes has continued, despite heavy pressure to stop.

Jan 12 2020

50mins

Play