Best History Movies of 2011
The Iron Lady
A look at the life of Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, with a focus on the price she paid for power.
As the face of law enforcement in the United States for almost 50 years, J. Edgar Hoover was feared and admired, reviled and revered. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career, and his life.
Mama Goema: The Cape Town Beat in Five Movements
If you take a pinch of Khoi-San lament, a dash of Malay spice, a bold measure of European orchestral, a splash of Xhosa spiritual, a clash of marching bands, a riff of rock, the pizzazz of the Klopse, some driving primal beat, and a lot of humour and musical virtuosity, what do you get? Goema Goema Goema! Weaving together the ancient, the traditional, and the classical into the contemporary universal sound of Cape Town, Mac MacKenzie, musical mastermind and founder of The Genuines and The Goema Captains of Cape Town, puts together the final touches to the culmination of his life’s work: Goema in Five Movements. Musicians and musical commentators Hilton Schilder, Neo Muyanga, Iain Harris and Graham Arendse, and new kids on the block, Kyle Shepherd and Shane Cooper, add a contemporary context to Goema, while the orchestra rehearses for its premiere performance at the SABC studios.
An African Election
Filmmaker Jarreth Merz directs this eye-opening documentary about the 2008 presidential elections in Ghana, chronicling the start-to-finish drama of campaigning in a nation that's long served as a measure of the continent's political stability.
Through the Weeping Glass: On the Consolations of Life Everlasting (Limbos & Afterbreezes in the Mütter Museum)
A documentary on the subject of the collections of books, instruments and medical anomalies at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Mutter Museum housed there. This short film represents the first to be made by the internationally recognized Quay Brothers in the United States. While not a stop-motion animation film, a form for which the Quays are best known, the entire film is vibrantly constructed and 'animated'. Musical score by composer Tim Nelson and voice-over provided by Derek Jacobi.
The Civil War on Drugs
The Civil War on Drugs is a historical drama that the Whitest Kids You Know made to document the journey to legalize marijuana during the War Between the States.
The Sinking of the Laconia
Two-part drama based on the true story of the Allied ship Laconia, sunk in WWII by a German U-Boat, which then surfaced against orders to rescue the civilian crew
The Universe, UFO: The Real Deal
The enterprising alien who wants to visit Earth faces a number of daunting challenges. This program examines the advanced technologies he would need with an emphasis on concepts for interstellar travel humans are exploring.
Panama Canal: Gateway to the American Century
From PBS and American Experience - On August 15th, 1914, the Panama Canal opened, connecting the world's two largest oceans and signaling America's emergence as a global superpower.
Up From Slavery
In 1860, as the American Experiment threatened to explode into a bloody civil war, there were as many as four hundred thousand slave-owners in the United States, and almost four million slaves. The nation was founded upon the idea that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The nation would pay a bloody cost for denying that right to more than twelve percent of its population. But when slavery was first brought to America's shores, this war, and even the nation it tore apart, was centuries in the future. With incredibly detailed historical reenactments, expert commentary and the stories of slavery told through first-hand accounts, this is an epic struggle 400 years in the making. A journey into the past like none other. This is the story of these men and women who by their hands laid the foundation of what would become the most powerful nation on Earth.