Best History Movies of 2008
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
When his family moves from their home in Berlin to a strange new house in Poland, young Bruno befriends Shmuel, a boy who lives on the other side of the fence where everyone seems to be wearing striped pajamas. Unaware of Shmuel's fate as a Jewish prisoner or the role his own Nazi father plays in his imprisonment, Bruno embarks on a dangerous journey inside the camp's walls.
Marines prepare to invade Iraq at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom; while the soldiers wait to receive their orders, they learn a Rolling Stone columnist will be embedded with them
Wounded in Africa during World War II, Nazi Col. Claus von Stauffenberg returns to his native Germany and joins the Resistance in a daring plan to create a shadow government and assassinate Adolf Hitler. When events unfold so that he becomes a central player, he finds himself tasked with both leading the coup and personally killing the Führer.
Based on a true story, during World War II, four Jewish brothers escape their Nazi-occupied homeland of West Belarus in Poland and join the Soviet partisans to combat the Nazis. The brothers begin the rescue of roughly 1,200 Jews still trapped in the ghettos of Poland.
A chronicle of the life of 18th century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who was reviled for her extravagant political and personal life.
Man on Wire
On August 7th 1974, French tightrope walker Philippe Petit stepped out on a high wire, illegally rigged between New York's World Trade Center twin towers, then the world's tallest buildings. After nearly an hour of performing on the wire, 1,350 feet above the sidewalks of Manhattan, he was arrested. This fun and spellbinding documentary chronicles Philippe Petit's "highest" achievement.
The Other Boleyn Girl
A sumptuous and sensual tale of intrigue, romance and betrayal set against the backdrop of a defining moment in European history: two beautiful sisters, Anne and Mary Boleyn, driven by their family's blind ambition, compete for the love of the handsome and passionate King Henry VIII.
For three years after being forced from office, Nixon remained silent. But in summer 1977, the steely, cunning former commander-in-chief agreed to sit for one all-inclusive interview to confront the questions of his time in office and the Watergate scandal that ended his presidency. Nixon surprised everyone in selecting Frost as his televised confessor, intending to easily outfox the breezy British showman and secure a place in the hearts and minds of Americans. Likewise, Frost's team harboured doubts about their boss's ability to hold his own. But as the cameras rolled, a charged battle of wits resulted.
The story of Bobby Sands, the IRA member who led the 1981 hunger strike during The Troubles in which Irish Republican prisoners tried to win political status.
The story of sex, violence, race and rock and roll in 1950s Chicago, and the exciting but turbulent lives of some of America's musical legends, including Muddy Waters, Leonard Chess, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, Etta James and Chuck Berry.
The life of one of the USA's Founding Fathers, its second President, and his role in the nation's first 50 years.
In 2000, the election of the U.S. Presidential boiled down to a few precious votes in the state of Florida — and a recount that would add "hanging chad" to every American's vocabulary.
Che: Part One
The Argentine, begins as Che and a band of Cuban exiles (led by Fidel Castro) reach the Cuban shore from Mexico in 1956. Within two years, they mobilized popular support and an army and toppled the U.S.-friendly regime of dictator Fulgencio Batista.
Che: Part Two
After the Cuban Revolution, Che is at the height of his fame and power. Then he disappears, re-emerging incognito in Bolivia, where he organizes a small group of Cuban comrades and Bolivian recruits to start the great Latin American Revolution. Through this story, we come to understand how Che remains a symbol of idealism and heroism that lives in the hearts of people around the world.
The true story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man ever elected to public office. In San Francisco in the late 1970s, Harvey Milk becomes an activist for gay rights and inspires others to join him in his fight for equal rights that should be available to all Americans.
The Lucky Ones
The story revolves around three soldiers — Colee, T.K. and Cheaver — who return from the Iraq War after suffering injuries and learn that life has moved on without them. They end up on an unexpected road trip across the U.S.
The story of the eventful life of George W. Bush—his struggles and triumphs, how he found both his wife and his faith—and the critical days leading up to his decision to invade Iraq.
Einstein and Eddington
A look at the evolution of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, and Einstein's relationship with British scientist Sir Arthur Eddington, the first physicist to understand his ideas.
The Edge of Love
When the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and his flirtatious wife Caitlin sweep into war-torn London, the last thing they expect is to bump into Dylan's childhood sweetheart Vera. Despite her joy at seeing Dylan after so many years, Vera is swept off her feet by a dashing officer, William Killick, and finds herself torn between the open adoration of her new found beau and the wily charms of the exotic Welshman.
Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway
Sex Drugs and Aids... This controversial musical follows the lives of recovering addicts and people dying of aids in 80s new York in-between two Christmases after Collins is Involved in a race attack and left on the street to die he is saved by angel a trans woman and drag queen as their relationship builds the scary reality creeps in. In the lot Mark and Roger struggling artists can't afford to make RENT as relentless landlord and former friend Benny makes life hell for them all the while Marks ex girlfriend Maureen is protesting the eviction of the homeless on that same lot and her new girlfriend Joanne handles the law side of things. Finally Mimi is a 19 year old in love with Roger but she is addicted to cocaine and the former heroine addict wants nothing to do with her after his last girlfriend committed suicide.
The Soviet Story
“The Soviet Story” is a story of an Allied power, which helped the Nazis to fight Jews and which slaughtered its own people on an industrial scale. Assisted by the West, this power triumphed on May 9th, 1945. Its crimes were made taboo, and the complete story of Europe’s most murderous regime has never been told. Until now...
God on Trial
In the Jewish tradition of arguing with God, Jewish prisoners in Auschwitz decide to put God on Trial.
Zeitgeist: Addendum premiered at the 5th Annual Artivist Film Festival. Director Peter Joseph stated: "The failure of our world to resolve the issues of war, poverty, and corruption, rests within a gross ignorance about what guides human behavior to begin with. It address the true source of the instability in our society, while offering the only fundamental, long-term solution."
It is 1879 in the Dakota Territories, a band of men who set out to find and recover a family of settlers that has mysteriously vanished from their home. Expecting the offenders to be a band of fierce natives, but they soon discover that the real enemy stalks them from below.
During the Sarikamis Battle, the Ottoman army runs out of ammunition and appeals to the people of Van for help, who happen to have supplies. However, the First World War is on and all men are fighting at four corners of the empire and therefore can not respond to to the appeal. The young children of Van want to do something...
The Unsinkable Titanic
On April 10, 1912, the RMS Titanic embarked on its maiden voyage, sailing from Southampton, England, to New York City. One of the largest and most luxurious passenger liners at the time, the Titanic was also equipped with watertight compartments, which led many to consider the ship unsinkable; an anonymous deckhand famously claimed that “God himself could not sink this ship.” On April 14, however, the ship struck an iceberg, and early the next day it sank. Some 1,500 people perished.
Johnny Mad Dog
A cast of unknown performers are used in this drama about child soldiers fighting a war in an unnamed African country.
On February 1, 1913, more than 150,000 people eagerly rushed to Grand Central Terminal to gaze at New York City's newest landmark. A marvel of engineering, architecture, and vision, the new Beaux Arts structure on 42nd street housed an underground electric train station that would revolutionize the way people traveled and transform midtown Manhattan.
Long Story Short
Tells the story of Larry and Trudie Long, a popular Asian American nightclub act of the '40s and '50s, told through the eyes of their daughter, actress Jodi Long.
The Medici: Makers of Modern Art
Documentary in which Andrew Graham-Dixon reveals how the Medici family transformed Florence through sculpture, painting, and architecture and created a world where masterpieces fetch millions today.
Sergeant Michael Dunne fights in the 10th Battalion, AKA The "Fighting Tenth" with the 1st Canadian Division and participated in all major Canadian battles of the war, and set the record for highest number of individual bravery awards for a single battle
Valkyrie: The Plot to Kill Hitler
Recalling Operation Valkyrie, a failed plot devised by German officers to assassinate Adolph Hitler. Included: a look at the events leading up to the July 20, 1944 attempt and the aftermath; interviews with survivors and historians; and archival footage and photographs.
Run for Your Life: The Fred Lebow Story
Without one eccentric first-generation Jewish immigrant from Transylvania, the New York City Marathon simply wouldn't exist. Ehrlich's fun, loving, and inspirational tribute to the late Fred Lebow shows how one man's imagination, determination, and love for running created one of the world's most popular sporting events.
Year 51 b.C.: After eight years of war, the Caesar triumphs in the war against the Gaul. There are celebrations both for the victory and the return to Rome. Meanwhile, in the capital of the empire, Pompeo, a senator loved by people, loses his wife, the daughter of the Caesar. The Caesar, who has been informed about a plot from the Senate against his downfall, decides to re-enter Rome in full force.
Hope & Redemption: The Lena Baker Story
Based on true events, The Lena Baker Story recounts one African-American womans struggle to rise above the challenges of her life, to face the choices she makes, and to ultimately triumph over her...Lena Baker was the first and only woman to be sentenced to death by the electric chair in the state of Georgia and was executed in 1945. She was pardoned posthumously in 2005.
Liu Xing a brilliant Chinese student, arrives at University and makes the transition into American life with the help of Joanna Silver. Xing joins a cosmology group working to create a model of the origins of the universe. He is obsessed with the study of dark matter and a theory that conflicts with the group's model. When he begins to make breakthroughs of his own, he encounters obstructions.
In 1898, a band of Spanish soldiers heroically defended Baler against Filipino forces for 337 long and grueling days. The battle, now referred to as the Siege of Baler, is the setting of a forbidden love between a Mestizo soldier and a Filipina lass who lived at the end of the 19th century.
CIA: Secret Experiments
It's the height of the Cold War and the United States government is desperate to combat the spread of Communism. The CIA launches a highly classified, top secret research program into the covert use of biological and chemical agents. In simulated attacks on enemy populations, entire cities in America are contaminated with bacteria, exposing millions of Americans to germ warfare. But the real focus of the research is on mastering the art of mind control. Psychiatrists at top academic institutions work under secret contract with the agency. Psychiatric patients, prisoners, even unwitting members of the public are exposed to a startling array of experiments designed to facilitate interrogations, induce amnesia and program in new behavior. Every psychological technique is explored, including hypnosis, electroshock therapy and lethal cocktails of drugs. What was the extent of these brainwashing experiments? How did the CIA become involved in such far-reaching and disturbing research?
In the late Seventies, a Dutch teenager named Frankie, who is the son of a holocaust survivor, lives in a working class area in Holland. Frankie’s mother is taken to hospital in a terminal condition, causing a bigger rift between him and his father. This leads to Frankie becoming the interest of the local Nazi skinhead group.
Clarissa & the King's Cookbook
Clarissa Dickson Wright tracks down Britain's oldest known cookbook, The Forme of Cury. This 700-year-old scroll was written during the reign of King Richard II from recipes created by the king's master chefs. How did this ancient manuscript influence the way people eat today? On her culinary journey through medieval history she reawakens recipes that have lain dormant for centuries and discovers dishes that are still prepared now.
NOVA: Arctic Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs are generally considered tropical animals. So what are their fossils doing north of the arctic circle? Paleontologists battle the fierce climate to find out if the arctic was warmer then than it is now, or the arctic was farther from the North Pole, or the dinosaurs were migratory animals, or if they were warm-blooded.
Valkyrie: The Plot to Kill Hitler
A documentary as the title states. DVD extra.
WWE: The History Of The Intercontinental Championship
It's a WWE Championship with a rich and storied history and the biggest names in sports entertainment have worn its gold on the road to immortality. The Intercontinental Championship traced its history back to the 1970's, and has been held by current and future Hall of Fame superstars, including The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Ultimate Warrior, Bret "Hit Man" Hart, Mr. Perfect, Eddie Guerrero, Edge, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, and so many more. Throughout the summer, fans will vote for their favorite Intercontinental Championship matches from each decade, with the top vote-getters being collected in this 3-DVD set.
Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood
A look at the forces that shaped Pre-Code Hollywood and brought about the strict enforcement of the Hays Code in 1934.
Lost Cities of the Amazon
Over the centuries, explorers traded tales of a lost civilization amid the dense Amazonian rainforest. Scientists dismissed the legends as exaggerations, believing that the rainforest could not sustain such a huge population—until now. A new generation of explorers armed with 21st-century technology has uncovered remarkable evidence that could reinvent our understanding of the Amazon and the indigenous peoples who lived there. Using CGI and dramatic re-creations, National Geographic re-imagines the banks of the Amazon 500 years ago, teeming with inhabitants living in the Lost Cities of the Amazon.
The Last One
Deep in the wilds of Southern Appalachia, lifelong moonshiner Popcorn Sutton runs 1 last batch of accurate moonshine whiskey. By means of the exhausting work of clearing the site, building a rock and clay furnace, brewing corn mash and producing high-proof moonshine, Sutton reveals the craft of standard distillation, the character of his Scots-Irish ancestors, and a lifetime of memories in the trade.
Emma Smith: My Story
Before her death, Emma reflects on her life; beginning with her childhood, up through her final years in Nauvoo.
Our story begins at the end of Sharpe's Challenge. Sharpe and Harper are en route to Madras when they encounter a baggage train from the East India Company traveling through hostile territory. Chitu, a legendary bandit leader in control of the area, strikes fear in the members of the party. When an attack occurs Sharpe takes control of the situation, leading the group 300 miles through enemy territory and training the disorganized, rag-tag group to be proper soldiers. Despite all these responsibilities, Sharpe still manages to find time for a little romance...
Drama inspired by the life of Walter Tull who, after years in an orphanage, went on to become a professional footballer and then the first black commissioned officer to lead British troops during WW1. The action concerns Tull's turbulent passage from ordinary soldier to extraordinary officer at officer training camp, where he had to face his own demons as well as fight the prejudice that surrounded him
Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind
A visual essay about the progressive tradition of the United States as seen through grave markers and monuments.