Best History Movies of 2012
An adaptation of the successful stage musical based on Victor Hugo's classic novel set in 19th-century France, in which a paroled prisoner named Jean Valjean seeks redemption.
The revealing story of the 16th US President's tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.
Zero Dark Thirty
A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May, 2011.
During the Republican run of the 2008 Presidential election, candidate John McCain picks a relative unknown, Alaskan governor Sarah Palin, to be his running mate. As the campaign kicks into high gear, her lack of experience, in both political and media savvy, becomes a drain upon McCain and his strategists.
As the Japanese surrender at the end of WWII, Gen. Fellers is tasked with deciding if Emperor Hirohito will be hanged as a war criminal. Influencing his ruling is his quest to find Aya, an exchange student he met years earlier in the U.S.
The story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American pilots to fly in a combat squadron during World War II.
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Oliver Stone charts the history of the United States from the Second World War to the present.
For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada
A chronicle of the Cristeros War (1926-1929), which was touched off by a rebellion against the Mexican government's attempt to secularize the country.
Hyde Park on Hudson
The story of the love affair between FDR and his distant cousin Margaret Stuckley, centered around the weekend in 1939 when the King and Queen of the United Kingdom visited upstate New York.
The Invisible War
An investigative and powerfully emotional documentary about the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military, the institutions that perpetuate and cover up its existence, and its profound personal and social consequences.
Henry IV, Part 1 - Live at Shakespeare's Globe
Prince Hal, son of King Henry IV, seems to be squandering his life away with the fat knight Sir John Falstaff and the whores, boozers and petty rogues of Eastcheap. But beside these scenes of glorious misrule gathers a nationwide rebellion led by the Duke of Northumberland and his charismatic son, Hotspur. The first installment of Shakespeare's gripping account of the rise of Hal from idle barfly to monarch-in-waiting combines compelling power politics with the hilarious antics of Falstaff, Shakespeare's greatest comic creation.
As an English soldier fights in the horrific trenches of northern France, he is haunted by the memories of his forbidden love affair with a French woman.
This Ain't California
A retrospective look at the youth cultures born in the German Democratic Republic. A celebration of the lust for life, a contemporary trip into the world of skate, a tale on three heroes and their boards, from their childhood in the seventies, through their teenage rebellion in the eighties and the summer of 1989, when their life changed forever, to 2011.
For No Good Reason
For No Good Reason a film about Ralph Steadman. Johnny Depp guides the visually stunning journey, smashing narrative conventions, moving seamlessly from interview to animation and in the finest Gonzo tradition questions of witness and authenticity are challenged. Steadman's art is for the first time animated, including illustrations from Hunter S Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vagas. Featuring Richard E Grant, Terry Gilliam, Bruce Robinson and with music from Slash, The All American Rejects, Jason Mraz, Crystal Castles, Ed Hardcourt and Beth Orton. A touching and at times funny film about honesty, friendship and the ambition driving an artist. This is a true record of the demise of the 20th Century counterculture and hipster dream with Ralph Steadman the last of the Gonzo visionaries.
World Without End
The English town of Kingsbridge works to survive as the King leads the nation into the Hundred Years' War with France while Europe deals with the outbreak of the Black Death.
Death Camp Treblinka: Survivor Stories
The only two survivors of the Treblinka concentration camp recount the horrors they experienced and tell how their lives were after escaping during a revolt in 1943.
Britain's Greatest Codebreaker
Alan Turing is the genius British mathematician who was instrumental in breaking the German naval Enigma Code during World War II, arguably saving millions of lives. Turing's achievements went unrecognised during his lifetime. Instead he ended up being treated as a common criminal, for being homosexual at a time when homosexual acts were a crime. In 1952, he was convicted of 'gross indecency' with another man and was forced to undergo so-called 'organo-therapy' - chemical castration. Two years later, he killed himself with cyanide, aged just 41. Alan Turing was driven to a terrible despair and early death by the nation he'd done so much to save.
WWE: The Best of SmackDown - 10th Anniversary, 1999-2009
Smackdown! Tenth Anniversary was put together with the Best of SmackDown 1999 – 2009 counts down the 100 greatest moments in the show’s history.
Goltzius & the Pelican Company
Goltzius and the Pelican Company tells the story of Hendrik Goltzius, a late 16th century Dutch printer and engraver of erotic prints. A contemporary of Rembrandt and, indeed, more celebrated during his life, Goltzius seduces the Margrave of Alsace into paying for a printing press to make and publish illustrated books. In return, he promises him an extraordinary book of pictures of illustrating the Old Testament’s biblical stories. Erotic tales of Lot and his daughters, David and Bathsheba, Samson and Deliah and John the Baptist and Salome. To tempt the Margrave further, Goltzius and his printing company will offer to perform dramatisations of these erotic stories for his court.
Apostle Peter and the Last Supper
The film portrays Saint Peter reflecting on his time with Jesus and his fellow Apostles during his final imprisonment in Rome. In particular, Peter attempts to convert one of his jailers, Martinian, by relating the life, teachings, and sacrifice of Jesus.
It is the word "horde" that had meant, for many countries and nations, bloody raids and being under humilating contribution for centuries - a strange and scary world with its own rules and customs. To be or not to be for Rus (Ruthenia), that is the price of the one-man mission as he is departing to this world to accomplish a feat. The film tells the story of how Saint Alexius, the Metropolitan of Moscow and Wonderworker of All Russia, healed the Tatar Queen Taidula, Jani-Beg's mother, from blindness, in 1357.
Top Priority: The Terror Within
Federal officer with the Department of Homeland Security discovers a national security breach related to the entry of 23 aliens from terrorist countries into the United States. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, former head of the DEA Robert Bonner can't afford any more media scrutiny, since his incompetence was already exposed in the NASA 'Challenger' disaster. To avoid the scandal, the full might of the government is unleashed against Julia Davis, her family and witnesses. This retaliation reaches an unprecedented magnitude, including four unexplained deaths, Hollywood and the Mafia, false imprisonments and the use of Blackhawk helicopters and airplanes for warrantless surveillance. Amidst many shocking revelations, this documentary provides a new insight into the deaths of well-known Hollywood figures unwittingly dragged into this scandal. The truth is no longer a secret.
Honor Flight chronicles a community coming together to honor World War II veterans. The film follows a team of Midwest volunteers as they race against the clock to send every local WWII veterans to see the memorials built in their honor.
A film about contemporary life in Auschwitz. In an observation from dusk till dawn, it portrays the theater of everyday life around the grim confines and captures the energies and activities of a world fascinated by this former concentration camp.
Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?
Heist: Who Stole the American Dream? reveals how American corporations orchestrated the dismantling of middle-class prosperity through rampant deregulation, the outsourcing of jobs, and tax policies favoring businesses and the wealthy. The collapse of the U.S. economy is the result of conscious choices made over thirty five years by a small group: leaders of corporations and their elected allies, and the biggest lobbying interest in Washington, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. To these individuals, the collapse is not a catastrophe, but rather the planned outcome of their long, patient work. For the rest of the country, it is merely the biggest heist in American history.
Brothers Colin and Ewan McGregor follow up their documentary The Battle of Britain with a film exploring Bomber Command, a rarely told story from the Second World War. The film focuses primarily on the men who fought and died in the skies above occupied Europe, with numerous examples of individual heroism and extraordinary collective spirit, and Colin learns to fly the key aircraft of the campaign: the Lancaster bomber. But this is also the story of a controversy that has lasted almost 70 years. The program covers six years of wartime operations, and traces the obstacles and challenges that were overcome as the RAF developed and deployed the awesome fighting force that was Bomber Command.
Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron
James Cameron brings together some the world's leading Titanic experts, including engineers, naval architects, artists and historians, to solve the lingering mysteries of why and how the 'unsinkable' ship sank.
This Land Is Mine
An animated history of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis
Rooted in the tropical underground of Los Angeles nightlife, Wildness is a portrait of the Silver Platter, a historic bar that has been home to Latin/LGBT immigrant communities since 1963. With a magical-realist flourish the bar itself becomes a character, narrating what happens when a weekly party (organized by Director Wu Tsang, DJs NGUZUNGUZU, and Total Freedom) called Wildness explodes into creativity and conflict. What does "safe space" mean? Who needs it? And how does it differ among us? At the Silver Platter, the search for answers creates coalitions across generations.
Secrets of the Viking Sword
The Vikings were the most ferocious warriors of the Middle Ages. Especially fearsome were the select few who wielded a formidable weapon: a light, razor sharp, virtually indestructible sword with its maker's name, Ulfberht, inlaid along the blade.
Baby Peggy, the Elephant in the Room
Documentary about an extraordinary lady, Diana Serra Cary (born Peggy-Jean Montgomery). In the early 1920s she was one of Hollywood's first major child stars, Baby Peggy.
Mabo tells the story of one of Australia's national heroes - Eddie Koiki Mabo, the Torres Strait Islander who left school at age 15, yet spearheaded the High Court challenge that overthrew the fiction of terra nullius.
WWII From Space
WWII from Space delivers World War II in a way you've never experienced it before. This HISTORY special uses an all-seeing CGI eye that offers a satellite view of the conflict, allowing you to experience it in a way that puts key events and tipping points in a global perspective. By re-creating groundbreaking moments that could never have been captured on camera, and by illustrating the importance of simultaneity and the hidden effects of crucial incidents, HISTORY presents the war's monumental moments in a never-before-seen context. And with new information brought to the forefront, you'll better understand how a nation ranked 19th in the world's militaries in 1939 emerged six years later as the planet's only atomic superpower.
MLK: The Assassination Tapes
Relive an unspeakable tragedy detailed with unforgettable images, videos, and recordings only recently rediscovered.
Doin' It in the Park: Pick-Up Basketball, NYC
An independent documentary directed by Bobbito Garcia and Kevin Couliau. The film explores the definition, history, culture, social impact and global influence of New York's outdoor summer basketball scene, the worldwide 'Mecca' of the sport.
Access to the Danger Zone
Directed by Peter Casaer and narrated by Daniel Day-Lewis, this documentary provides a harrowing look at the challenges of delivering humanitarian aid in armed conflicts. “Access to the Danger Zone” explores the strategies that Doctors Without Borders has employed to save lives in the world’s worst war zones, including Afghanistan, Somalia, and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo—strategies that are tested each and every day. Interviews with key experts from Doctors Without Borders, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the United Nations are accompanied by dramatic footage shot in these countries in 2011 and 2012.
The early life of Roman ruler Julius Caesar as told in three working prisons in South Africa, the UK and Canada. A small group of professional actors is joined by a cast of real-life inmates to tell the story of one of history's foremost personalities.
Time Zero: The Last Year of Polaroid Film
Documentary covering the end of an era as Polaroid stops producing its signature cameras and film as well as The Impossible Project to keep instant photography alive.
The Man Who Saved the World
During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Soviet Navy officer Vasily Arkhipov refused to launch a nuclear strike and saved the world from nuclear war and total destruction.
The Norse: An Arctic Mystery
The history books say that the first European to make contact with Native Americans was Christopher Columbus. New evidence tells a different story, that another civilization arrived in the New World centuries earlier. They were the Norse, a seafaring people who originated in the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. They bore the name Viking, an "Old Norse" term for a pirate raid.
Lil Tokyo Reporter
1935 Los Angeles, community leader Sei Fujii uncovers the corrupt activities of his community's underground mafia. He must choose between saving the face of his deteriorating community and confronting the issues head on through his newspaper. Based on a true story.
Punk in Africa
Three chords, three countries, one revolution...PUNK IN AFRICA is the story of the multiracial punk movement within the recent political and social upheavals experienced in three Southern African countries: South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
WWII in 3D
For the first time, you will see dramatic moments of WWII that were captured in 3D with stereographs and then shuttered away in secret archives and attics, until now. This stunning collection of color 3D photos includes Allied reconnaissance photos, a trove of images that documents the rise and fall of the Third Reich, and photos secretly taken by a civilian in occupied France. WWII IN 3D also features an actual 3D motion picture film shot by the Nazis in 1943 and creates a fully immersive, three dimensional portrait of history's largest and bloodiest conflict.
Mary of Nazareth
The film begins with the Annunciation: Mary, a young Galilean, virginal conceived the Messiah, the Son of God. Her husband Joseph, a humble carpenter, decided to stay by his side throughout. When Caesar Augustus ordered the Jews to register people, the couple embarks on a journey to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. Meanwhile, Maria Magdalena, a young woman from the same town that Mary, turns away from God and placed in the palace of King Herod, Herodias where convinces her to lose her innocence in the arms of the king's son.
The Broken Tower
Docudrama about American poet Hart Crane, who committed suicide in April 1932 at the age of 32 by jumping off the steamship SS Orizaba.
On the 7th of May 2009, Senior Constables Len Snee, Grant Diver and Bruce Miller arrived at 41 Chaucer Rd in Napier to serve a search warrant on Jan Molenaar for the growing of cannabis. This was just a routine warrant, something they had done countless times. What was meant to be an ordinary procedure turned into three of New Zealand’s darkest days and ended with one police officer dead, two officers critically injured and a member of the public fighting for his life. In some fifty hours Jan Molenaar made a permanent and devastating imprint upon the national psyche of New Zealand as he changed the lives of individuals, families, a police community, and a city. The siege was one of the worst and unexpected cases of violence both Napier and New Zealand had witnessed and it was all the more shocking because of its ordinary suburban backdrop.
Each year, tents in Bryant Park herald New York Fashion Week, whose back story is as fascinating as the couture on the catwalk. Fashion's biggest names share the sometimes shocking, often funny rags-to-riches evolution of the iconic event.
Grand Kankakee Marsh: Everglades of the North
Less than a century ago, there was an area in the Midwest that resembled the swamplands of Florida's Everglades. Sometimes called the "Everglades of the North", The Grand Kankakee Marsh once saturated nearly a million acres in Northern Indiana and a portion of Illinois. Everglades of the North: The Story of the Grand Kankakee Marsh, reveals the diverse ecology, illustrates the astonishing history, and explores the controversial saga of the Grand Kankakee Marsh in how people have used and perceived this wetland for more than 10,000 years.
Bert & Dickie
Thrown together just five weeks before the final of the 1948 London Olympics, Bert Bushnell (Doctor Who's Matt Smith) and Dickie Burnell (Sam Hoare) defied all the odds and made history in the double sculls. This is the story of how they did it - not only by pushing physical and emotional limits, but also by overcoming their vast professional and personal differences.
A studio. A man and a woman. Moving images on the screen, which he comments on, spurred on by her questions. All the footage was shot from the window of a flat: views of the street, the metro line running above it, the canal, into the windows of the buildings opposite. The flat belongs to the man’s lover, the man is a guest, spending his nights there but never his days. By the canal, young men from Afghanistan set up makeshift shelters as the man looks on, developing increasing sympathy for them. The seasons change, winter, spring, summer.