Download the latest documentaries investigating global developments, issues and affairs.
A tale of two Tokyos
The wait is finally over for the Tokyo Olympics, 2020. Ken Nishikawa and Nick Luscombe take inspiration and hope from the Tokyo Olympics of 1964, which kick-started a new internationalism in Japan as the first Olympic games to be held in Asia. Together they meet the designer of the new grand stadium Kengo Kuma and many more Tokyo residents whose lives were touched by the games in 1964 to contrast the Tokyo of the past with the city and its people today.
Two smiley faces: Episode four
So how do you get an emoji added to the list? We hear from the women who have had hundreds of emoji approved between them, from the sari, to the mirror, to the one-piece bathing suit. How did they do it? And will Amy and Rachel finally get their drone emoji? We ask the woman who is in charge of it all.
The road to rock'n'roll
In a segregated US, black audiences, entertainers and entrepreneurs established their own network of live performance venues known as the Chitlin’ Circuit. Concentrated primarily in the Deep South, it provided many pioneers of modern music with the platform to hone their craft and perfect their style as they travelled the country. Virtually every notable African-American performer from the '30s to the '60s graced the circuit. From famous urban institutions like The Apollo Theater in New York or The Howard Theatre in Washington D.C, to a run-down barn on a country back-road. It was in these settings, amidst a backdrop of segregation, that the sounds of rhythm and blues and rock’n’roll emerged and evolved, long before they captivated the world. Bobby Rush shines a light on a hugely influential network of venues that paved the way for rock’n’roll and shaped music history.
The Tokyo Olympics
A year later than planned, due to the pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics are underway. Yet Covid cases in the capital are rising, and a recent poll showed that 55% of people in Japan were opposed to the Games being held in Tokyo with fears that it could become a super spreader event. For the athletes, it’s business as usual, albeit under extraordinary circumstances. Host Nuala McGovern hears from 19 year old US-born Joseph Fahnbulleh, who is representing Liberia on the athletics track in the 200 metres race; and Mary Hanna who has competed in five previous Olympics as part of the Australian equestrian team
Dangerous liaisons in Sinaloa
The Mexican state of Sinaloa is synonymous with drug trafficking. With the profits from organised crime a driver of the local economy, the tentacles of ‘narco cultura’ extend deep into people’s lives – especially those of women. In the city of Culiacan, plastic surgeons service demand for the exaggerated feminine silhouette favoured by the men with guns and hard cash. Often women’s surgery will be paid for by a ‘sponsor’ or ‘godfather.’ Meanwhile, a group of women trackers spend their weekends digging in isolated parts of the state, looking for the remains of loved ones who disappear in Sinaloa’s endless cycle of drug-fuelled violence.
Producer / presenter: Linda Pressly
Producer in Mexico: Ulises Escamilla
Editor: Bridget Harney
(Photo: Lawyer Maria Teresa Guerra advocates for women in Sinaloa. Credit: BBC/Ulises Escamilla)
Lex Gillette: A leap in the dark
Lex Gillette was seven years old when his eyes stopped working. At first, things were a little blurry, a little distorted. Then, after 10 operations to treat the retinas that kept detaching in both his right and his left, he saw nothing but darkness. But that did not stop him: Lex learned to ride a bike. He learned to run around. And eventually, he learned to to jump - jump farther than any other blind person in the world. Lex Gillette - world record long jumper, four time Paralympic medal winner - is on his way to Tokyo in 2021 to get the gold medal he has wanted since he was a child. The other half of the Lex Gillette Paralympic success story is his guide coach, Wesley Williams.
Usually outstanding programs which are made in the tradition of quality broadcasting. I like how the BBC Documentary features worldwide stories with interesting voices and wide-ranging subjects; stories of Iran done by BBC Persian service is a good exemplar of this variety. I’m also pleased to hear quality voicing. Vocal fry is particularly ubiquitous among North American podcasters. BBC’s broadcasters, such as Tim Whewell, might have nuanced voices but do not detract from the subject matter and I’m never distracted by a Documentary voice
Great podcast about how Alaska uses its resource wealth. Malaysia has a similar one when I worked there for 2.5 years. Both are models for other nations.
Very well done
I thoroughly emjoy your programs please stay open minded to the unknown and to things that go bump in the night- bravo