The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance

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From a small Italian community in 15th-century Florence, the Medici family would rise to rule Europe in many ways. Using charm, patronage, skill, duplicity and ruthlessness, they would amass unparalleled wealth and unprecedented power.

They would also ignite the most important cultural and artistic revolution in Western history–the European Renaissance. But the forces of change the Medici helped unleash would one day topple their ordered world. An epic drama played out in the courts, cathedrals and palaces of Europe, this series is both the tale of one family’s powerful ambition and of Europe’s tortured struggle to emerge from the ravages of the dark ages.

A tale of one family’s powerful ambition and of Europe’s struggle to emerge from the ravages of the Dark Ages. Beginning in the 14th century, The Medici used charm, skill and ruthlessness to garner unparalleled wealth and power. Standing at the helm of the Renaissance, they ruled Europe for more than 300 years and inspired the great artists, scientists and thinkers who gave birth to the modern world.

Episode 1: Birth of a Dynasty

Episode 2: The Magnificent Medici

Episode 3: The Medici Pope

https://youtu.be/lT5g6r2iv10

Episode 4: Power vs. Truth

https://youtu.be/g56OZAaDDnU

Psychiatry: An Industry of Death

 

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Through rare historical and contemporary footage and interviews with more than 160 doctors, attorneys, educators, survivors and experts on the mental health industry and its abuses, this riveting documentary blazes the bright light of truth on the brutal pseudoscience and multi-billion dollar fraud that is psychiatry.

We think you have the right to know the cold, hard facts about psychiatry, its practitioners and the threat they pose to our children. Get the truth—watch this film.

Governments, insurance companies and private individuals pay billions of dollars each year to psychiatrists in pursuit of cures that psychiatrists admit do not exist. Psychiatry’s “therapies” have caused millions of deaths.

 

 

 

 

The Spy Factory

 

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NOVA exposes the hidden, high-tech workings of the world’s largest intelligence agency, the National Security Agency (NSA). Their mission is to eavesdrop on the world — from phone calls in Europe and Afghanistan to email messages from Pakistan to Baghdad. Based on the best-seller by James Bamford, this is a report on the threat to privacy and the effectiveness of high-tech surveillance in the age of terrorism.

 

 

Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism

 

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Much of the history of the past 200 years revolved around a single idea. It was the vision that life could be lived in peace and brotherhood if only property were shared by all and distributed equally, eliminating the source of greed, envy, poverty and strife. This idea was called “socialism” and it was man’s most ambitious attempt to supplant religion with a doctrine grounded on science rather than revelation.

It became the most popular political idea in history. Its provenance was European, but it spread to China and Africa, India and Latin America and even to that most tradition-bound of regions, the Middle East. While it never fully took root in America, its influence shaped the nation’s political debate. At its crest in the 1970s, roughly 60 percent of the earth’s population lived under governments that espoused socialism in one form or another. Then, suddenly, it all collapsed.

Because its goal proved so elusive, the socialist movement split and split again into diverse, sometimes murderously contradictory forms. There was Social Democracy, which insisted that only peaceful and democratic means could produce a harmonious commonwealth. There was Communism, which extolled the resolute use of force and dictatorship to propel mankind to a new way of life. There was Arab Socialism, African Socialism, and other Third World variants that sought to amalgamate western Social Democracy and eastern Communism. There was even fascism, which turned the socialist idea on its head by substituting the brotherhood of nation and race for the brotherhood of class. And there were those – from early American settlers, to the “flower children” of the 1960s, to Israeli Zionist kibbutzniks – who built their own socialist communities, hoping to transform the world by the force of example.

As an idea that changed the way people thought, socialism’s success was spectacular. As a critique of capitalism that helped spawn modern social safety nets and welfare states, its success was appreciable. As a model for the development of post-colonial states, the socialist model proved disappointing, fostering economic stagnation among millions of the world’s poorest people. And in its most violent forms, socialism was calamitous, claiming scores of millions of lives and helping to make the twentieth century the bloodiest ever.

Through profiles of the individuals that brought socialism to life, HEAVEN ON EARTH tells the story of how an idea arose, evolved, changed the world, and eventually fell.

 

 

Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire

 

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Commanding shoguns and fierce samurai warriors, exotic geisha and exquisite artisans – all were part of a Japanese renaissance between the 16th and 19th centuries when Japan went from chaos and violence to a land of ritual refinement and peace.

But stability came at a price: for nearly 250 years, Japan was a land closed to the Western world, ruled by the shogun under his absolute power and control. Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire brings to life the unknown story of a mysterious empire, its relationship with the West, and the forging of a nation that would emerge as one of the most important countries in the world.

 

Episode One – The Way of the Samurai

In the early 16th century, Japan is a warlike society ruled by samurai and their daimyo warlords. When Portuguese merchants arrive in 1543, they are the first Europeans to set foot in Japan. Missionaries quickly set out to convert the nation to Christianity. In the same year, a samurai boy named Tokugawa Ieyasu is born to a low ranking daimyo family.

To prove his family’s loyalty to their ruling warlord, Ieyasu is given as a hostage where he remains for most of his childhood. When he is finally freed, he reclaims his family’s domain and allies himself with the most powerful rulers in Japan: Oda Nobunaga, and his successor, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Hideyoshi awards him a small fishing village named Edo, later to be known as Tokyo, and provides him with a vast area to rule. But Hideyoshi and Ieyasu are uneasy allies.

On his deathbed, Hideyoshi, places Ieyasu in command until Hideyoshi’s true heir—his young son, Hideyori—will rule. When daimyo rebels challenge Ieyasu’s control, Tokugawa Ieyasu’s samurai armies defeat them at the Battle of Sekigahara. The victory brings to Ieyasu the title of shogun. Ieyasu’s only remaining obstacle for total control of Japan is Hideyori. In 1614, Ieyasu renounces his allegiance to Hideyori and attacks Osaka Castle, slaughtering more than 100,000. It is the beginning of a dynasty that will endure for more than 250 years.

 

Episode Two – The Will of the Shogun

With Ieyasu in control, peace settles over Japan, and a new society based on the samurai ethics of obedience and loyalty is established. In 1600, William Adams becomes the first Englishman to set foot in Japan. Impressed by European trading vessels, Ieyasu asks Adams to help him build his own fleet. Aware that the English have no interest in converting the Japanese to Christianity, Ieyasu decides to expel the Portugese and Spanish who often combine missionary work with trade.

As Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu has united the daimyo warlords. When he dies at 72, his vision of a strictly controlled class system based on the rule of the samurai is a reality. But his grandson, Iemitsu, will rule more harshly. With no wars to fight, Iemitsu tightens control over the power of the daimyo and their restless samurai armies.

Foreign missionaries have been expelled from Japan, but still Iemitsu fears the influence of Christianity. Impoverished peasants and persecuted Christians explode in anger. The Shimabara Rebellion in 1637 results in the deaths of thousands. In order to prevent further dissention resulting from foreign influence, Iemitsu closes Japan to the western world. It will be more than 200 years before the nation will open its doors again.

 

Episode Three – The Return of the Barbarians

By 1690, Japan is a nation completely isolated from the western world, and a time of cultural flowering and intellectual pursuit ensues. Shogun Tsunayoshi introduces his Laws of Compassion protecting the poor and preventing the abuse of animals. By the 18th century, Edo has become the largest and one of the liveliest cities in the world, attracting samurai, geisha, courtesans, merchants, writers and actors. The classes begin to mix, and culture and commerce flourish.

However, conflicts simmer beneath the surface of Edo society. As ruling daimyo warlords and their samurai armies grow restless, interest in Western science increases, complicating the policy of isolation.

In 1853, Commodore Mathew C. Perry and his squadron of black ships sail into Edo Bay, and demand that Japan negotiate and trade with the United States. Japan is in a precarious position and the government faces the difficult choice of war or negotiation. Realizing they are powerless to repel American might, the Japanese negotiate treaties with the West. Ten years later, the samurai class is disbanded and the Tokugawa Shogunate ends. The modern era of Japan has begun.