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True Stories showcases documentaries from acclaimed international filmmakers.


Saisons & épisodes Les résumés de tous les épisodes de True Stories

S255E01 The Widow Makers 26/06/1994 The Widow Makers follow the story of the USSR 658 nuclear class submarine fleet including the ill-fated K-19 USSR submarine which on 4 July 1961, suffered a complete loss of coolant to its reactor. With no backup system, the captain ordered members of the engineering crew to find a solution to avoid a nuclear meltdown. Sacrificing their own lives, the engineering crew jury-rigged a secondary coolant system and kept the reactor from a meltdown. With interviews and original source footage it is a compelling and cautionary tale of heroism versus ideology.
S255E02 Thriller in Manila 11/11/2008 In 1975 Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier fought their third and final contest. What unfolded in the searing heat of Manila is now considered the greatest ever-boxing match in history, with an ending so dramatic it defies belief and continues to provoke controversy.
S255E03 We Are Together 04/12/2008 WE ARE TOGETHER tells the moving and inspiring story of 12 year old Slindile and her remarkable friends at the Agape orphanage in South Africa. Filmed over three years, with unforgettable kids, soaring music and a plot full of surprises, WE ARE TOGETHER arrives as a stirring and uplifting theatrical documentary.
S255E04 An Independent Mind 10/12/2008 To tie in with the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, More4's True Stories is exploring independent minds. More4's True Stories: An Independent Mind traces the lives and tales of eight very different people. Among them are the Moustache Brothers - a comedy troupe from Burma who're under house arrest because they're banned by the Burmese military regime. As such, the three-strong act performs illegally for tourists from their home in Mandalay. There's reggae singer Tiken Jah Fakoly, who in December 2007 was declared persona non grata in Senegal after criticizing the president. What ties the above two, and other stories, together, is that in each case there's a desire to exercise a freedom of expression and the right to have an opinion. It's an insightful look into eight very different world's, but world's that still make an impact because their stories are all-powerful.
S255E05 Chosen 16/12/2008 Thirty years on, three men dare to break the silence about sexual abuse in English private schools. Directed by Emmy and BAFTA-award winner, Brian Woods, Chosen tackles a subject often whispered but rarely spoken about - the sexual abuse of boys by teachers in Britain's private schools. For thirty years the boys, and the men they became, stayed silent, nursing the secret of the abuse they suffered. But in this film, Tom, Mark and Alastair break that silence with spellbinding articulacy and breathtaking honesty - telling their stories straight to camera. Chosen reveals how these boys were groomed, how the private school system was poorly regulated and how abuse goes undetected.
S255E06 The Hunger Season 16/12/2008 The Hunger Season tells the story of a young teacher called Justine and the children in his care as they struggle to survive in a year of drought and diminishing food handouts. Shot over a two-year period on location in the US, Europe and Southern Africa, the film explores the wider forces at work in an unfolding humanitarian crisis, bringing vividly alive the impact of actions taken by the Swazi government, United Nations agencies and Western donors on the fate of one small community. With a close eye cast on the system of food aid, crucial questions are asked about whether the international aid response is committing sufficient resources to end the cycle of hunger in the developing world.
S255E07 Waiting for Hockney 24/12/2008 WAITING FOR HOCKNEY is a comic and poignant tale of a man and the people who believe in him as they collude and collide for an entire decade in the service of a grand idea. The film explores the sometimes precarious line between dreams and delusion as it looks at the risks, payoffs and consequences when one man single-mindedly pursues his vision. Billy Pappas is a true American original. An art school graduate from a working class background living in rural Maryland, Billy has decided that his mission in life is to reinvent realism. He spends eight years on a single drawing, working to show a microscopic level of detail he hopes will reveal something deeper than photography. Literally, he hopes to create a new art form. Aided, one might even say enabled, by an eccentric cast of characters including a clergyman, a professor and an architect calling himself Dr. Lifestyle, Billy finally completes the portrait and then begins a quest to show it to renowned contemporary artist David Hockney, the one person he thinks can validate everything for which Billy has been striving.
S255E08 Black Star: An African Football Odyssey 31/12/2008 A documentary focusing on Africa, football, and notably Ghana's football star Michael Essien, as he takes time out with his training at Chelsea to play for his country in the African Cup of Nations. Director Paul Yule.
S255E09 Marilyn, the Last Session 15/03/2011 Based on recordings and transcripts from psychoanalyst Ralph Greenson's sessions with Marilyn Monroe in the dark months prior to her controversial death in 1962, Marilyn, the Last Sessions tells the fascinating story of how the troubled star turned to Greenson, who attempted to aid and protect her but was later considered by many to be suspect. The film features rarely seen archive footage of Monroe, and those who surrounded her towards the end of her career, such as the Kennedys, Arthur Miller, John Huston and Truman Capote. True Stories commissions and showcases the best international feature documentaries.
S255E10 Love, Lust and Lies 22/03/2011 Award-winning director Gillian Anderson has been following the lives of Josie, Diana and Kerry since 1976, when they were teenagers in suburban Australia. Love, Lust and Lies documents how their lives have changed in the last 35 years, from new relationships starting and breaking up with partners, to becoming mothers and grandmothers. The women reveal their stories and secrets with remarkable honesty as the film demonstrates how fascinating and complex 'ordinary' life can be.
S255E11 Cocaine Cowboys 16/03/2010 Billy Corben's astonishing story, showing in the True Stories strand, tells of the sudden rush of cocaine into the then sleepy Miami in the 1970s and 1980s. Colombian drug lords and Cuban and American gangsters realised that America had developed a taste for the drug but the authorities were slow on reacting to the threat. There was profit for all with, initially, very little risk attached. The story is told through three key characters; Jon Roberts, who claims to have imported over $2-billion worth of cocaine, pilot Mickey Munday, who personally flew in some 10 tons and the chillingly attractive Jorge `Rivi' Ayala, enforcer and assassin for Colombian `grandmother' Griselda Blanco. With a score by Jan Hammer, this is the true story behind the films Scarface and Blow, when money and mobs ruled Miami.
S255E12 The Yes Men Fix the World 23/03/2010 After the success of The Yes Men, the New York political action co-operative return to embarrass and humiliate corporations in equal measure. Largely fronted by Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonnano, they use phony websites and business names to persuade presumably otherwise rational people to accept their ideas. Such as the 'Survivaball', presented as the latest terrorist survival product from Haliburton. It's a human sized beach ball 'suit' meant to protect the individual inside but if they fall over, they can't stand up again and would just roll around. At a conference for the security industry, not one expert questions its viability. Although the Yes Men's exploits are funny and illuminating, they do ask a deeper question - if they can fool all these powerful men (and it is largely men) who run America, in how many other and more frighteningly important ways are these people being conned?
S255E13 Crack House 24/05/2011 Documentary using surveillance footage obtained as part of a sting conducted by Illinois' Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to reveal the inner workings of a drug den. The film provides an insight into operations under dealer Darrell `Duck' Davis, who took over Rockford's narcotics trade in 2001, and recruited men from the South Side of Chicago to help him sell an average of a kilo of hard drugs each week
S255E14 The Flaw 03/06/2011 In October 2008, Alan Greenspan, the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, admitted to Congress that he'd found a flaw in his economic model of how the world works. He'd placed too much faith in the self-correcting power of free markets. In a system based on the unsustainable lending necessary to fuel continued spending, the world found to its cost what happens when that credit bubble bursts. Drawing on interviews with leading world economists, The Flaw attempts to explain - in unprecedented depth - the underlying causes of the global financial crisis. Unless the root causes of the problem are addressed, the system may collapse again, and next time it may not be possible for governments to rescue it.
S255E15 After the Apocalypse 19/07/2011 During the Soviet era, the people of Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan were used as human guinea pigs in the testing of nuclear weapons. Today the residents believe they are living with the consequences: one in 20 children is born with defects. This True Stories film focuses on those whose lives have been shaped by this past, including a maternity doctor who enthusiastically pilots a 'genetic passport' scheme to stop women with bad genes from getting pregnant, and a local resident fighting for her right to have a child. There is no scientific consensus on how radiation affects human genetics, but this does not detract from the harrowing scenarios this community faces and its struggle to cope with the country's history. True Stories commissions and showcases the best international feature documentaries.
S255E16 Babes in Hollywood 09/08/2011 Babes in Hollywood follows a dozen aspiring child actors over three months as they try to win US television roles against staggering odds. Every spring, thousands of aspiring child actors - and pushy parents - flock to Hollywood for the casting period for new television shows.
S255E17 Erasing David 04/05/2010 Filmmaker David Bond attempts to disappear off the face of the earth for one month. But is it that easy when he lives in Britain, one of the most intrusive surveillance states in the world, where the average UK adult is registered on over 700 databases and caught daily on one of the four million CCTV cameras on almost every street corner? In what plays out like a Hitchcock thriller, Bond hires some of the UK¿s top private investigators to discover everything they can about him and track him down as he attempts to vanish. Is it still possible to live a private, anonymous life in the UK or do the state and private companies already know too much about ordinary people? Forced to contemplate the meaning of privacy and the loss of it, Bond¿s disturbing journey leaves him with no doubt that although he has nothing to hide, he certainly has something to fear as he discovers some alarming truths about what the state and private companies already know about ordinary citizens.
S255E18 My Father, Pablo Escobar 11/05/2010 The incredible story of Pablo Escobar, the infamous boss of Colombia's Medellin drug cartel, told for the very first time by his son, Sebastian and his widow Maria Isabel Santos. In Nicolas Entel's film, showing in the True Stories strand, Sebastian tells of his extraordinary childhood, growing up with a father he loved but whom he knew to be Colombia's enemy number one. He tells of times of extraordinary luxury and extravagance, and other times on the run, and Sebastian and his widow open the family vaults to share their private and long hidden archives. He also meets with the sons of the late Colombian justice minister Rodrigo Lara Bonilla and the late presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galán, both killed on orders from Escobar after confronting his cocaine cartel. The film follows Sebastian as he tries to break the cycle of revenge and assassination by seeking reconciliation with the sons of his father's victims.
S255E19 Which Way Home 31/01/2009 As the USA maintains a strict policy on immigration from Mexico, the Oscar-nominated Which Way Home shows the personal side of migration through the eyes of children trying to cross the border
S255E20 A Bipolar Expedition 25/05/2010 Paul Downes, a successful businessman with bipolar disorder, suffers from manic highs followed by depressive lows. Film-maker Mark James follows his extraordinary journey as he searches for a wife, hiring a castle in Jamaica and inviting 12 Ukrainian women to join him in the hope of finding his soul mate
S255E21 Wikileaks: Secrets and Lies 29/11/2011 The definitive account of the 'wiki-saga', featuring the first major television interview with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. The film unites all the major protagonists for the first time, including Assange's erstwhile partner Daniel Domscheit Berg, and the editorial teams at the Guardian, Der Spiegel and New York Times newspapers, as well as the US state department spokesperson who had to deal with the leaks. At the film's core the largely overlooked story of US Private Bradley Manning, accused of the biggest leak in history. Without that leak, there would have been no story at all. When Assange launched his whistle-blower website he was heralded as a hero, bravely publishing classified material to highlight government wrongdoings to its peoples. He won awards around the world and was credited with creating a historic moment for journalism. But the story took a dark twist when Assange was accused of rape and sexual assault in Sweden. Award-winning film-maker Patrick Forbes presents the story of Wikileaks, using the words of people at the heart of the story, and on both sides of the fence. This is the story of Wikieaks told by the people involved: sulphurous, personal and moving, it documents history in the making and the frontier of new technology and journalism. It's also a story of human emotions clashing with the advent of new technologies, summed up in the words of Guardian journalist Nick Davies as 'a Greek tragedy... as triumph was turned into disaster through the actions of one man.' True Stories commissions and showcases the best international feature documentaries.
S255E22 Transgenders: Pakistan's Open Secret 13/12/2011 Documentary exploring the lives of Maggie, Sana and Shaboo, three members of Karachi's colourful but sometimes grim transgender subculture. Often turned out onto the streets as children for their unorthodox attitudes, Pakistan's transgender citizens have formed an underground network of `families' that provide them with support, but many become trapped in a culture of prostitution, violence and forms of slavery. The programme reveals how cunning government officials are planning to offer members of the clandestine community jobs as tax collectors - hoping even the most stubborn evaders will be embarrassed into paying up when faced with a visit from a flamboyant unit of collection agents.
S255E23 Sarah Palin: You Betcha! 27/12/2011 Nick Broomfield heads to Alaska to find the real Sarah Palin and meet the friends, family and colleagues that gave their heart, soul and belief to the charismatic ex-hockey mum. [S]
S255E24 Love the Beast 29/06/2010 Eric Bana's documentary, showing in the True Stories strand, tells of his love for the treasured 1974 Ford GT Falcon Coupe his father gave him - nicknamed The Beast. The film follows Bana's participation in the epic five-day Targa Tasmania Rally. When he spectacularly wrecks the car during the race, Bana turns to Jeremy Clarkson and to talk show psychologist Dr Phil for advice and ends up trying to unravel the particular and lifelong love that men can feel for their cars. It's a film for petrol heads and those intrigued by Bana's personality. And it also fits in a tour of Jay Leno's enormous vintage car collection.
S255E25 Maradona 13/07/2010 Double Cannes-winner Emir Kusturica's films is a portrait of one of football's most extraordinary characters. Diego Maradona - reviled in England (the Hand of God), adored in Argentina, where he won the World Cup as a player and has (at the time of writing) managed his team to the last eight in South Africa. Kusturica enjoyed unlimited access to the man himself and traces his story from the humblest of beginnings to world domination, followed by his fall from grace through drug abuse and weight problems before rehabilitation and rebirth. The result is an astonishing, personal story that is cemented by the strong personal bond between Kusturica and Maradona.
S255E26 The Cove 20/07/2010 With the help of Richard O'Barry, a former dolphin trainer who has since recanted and become the mammal's strongest ally, filmmaker Louie Pshihoyos sets out to expose the illicit slaughter of large numbers of dolphins at Taijia, a rural Japanese cove. The pair have to contend with bureaucratic obduracy, police surveillance and attacks by the fishermen. Forced to film undercover and underwater, they use Industrial Light and Magic's latest technology to capture the heartrending massacres. Psihoyos links events at Taija to wider concerns: the lucrative global aquarium industry, which needs trained dolphins; the impotent regulatory checks in place; and a whaling industry that is flexing its muscles again. And there is an ironic coda to the slaughter; the dolphin meat is relabelled as whale meat and is particularly popular in children's lunchboxes. The meat is high in poisonous mercury toxins.
S255E27 Rough Aunties 03/08/2010 Kim Longinotto's critically acclaimed, Sundance-winning film follows the Bobbi Bears, a multiracial group of women based in Durban, South Africa who protect and shelter the child victims of sexual and physical abuse. Many of them have suffered such abuse themselves and they call themselves the rough aunties both because of their blue collar background and because of their tactics, making sure the perpetrators of the attacks are prosecuted in the face of bureaucratic indifference. But as well as following the women as they accompany police on night raids, it also follows their own personal stories, including the assault on one member and a tragic family loss to another. Their name comes from the toy bears they use to encourage their young victims to show the abuse they suffered, in the same way dolls are used in this country, by placing stickers to indicate where they were violated. Despite the tough subject matter, Rough Aunties is a positive, rewarding film.
S255E28 Digging for Grandad's Gold 10/08/2010 Jerry Sladkowski's intriguing film about the search for a hastily buried treasure begins in September 1939. With the Germans about to invade Poland, Jack Atkin gathered together his Jewish family's valuables before burying them on his property in Lodz and fleeing to London. Seventy years later, his grandson, Mark Atkin, sets out on a voyage of discovery, not just back to Lodz but to Los Angeles, where distant cousins live and to London, where relatives might be able to explain why Jack returned to a war torn Europe, ending up in Riga prison camp. Finally in Lodz, he finds the family property intact. Are the buried valuables still there, will his relatives lay claim to a share and will Poland's ever-changing position on the restitution of Jewish property affect any discovery? As Mark digs into Polish soil, he also digs up a family history which reflects that of many European Jewish families during the war.
S255E29 Big River Man 17/08/2010 John Maringouin and Molly Lynch's film follows Slovenia's Martin Strel, swimmer extraordinaire. At first glance, Strel, 55, looks the opposite of the Olympic ideal, with his portly belly and distinctly unhealthy lifestyle but as a long distance swimmer, he has conquered the lengths of the Danube, Mississippi and Yangtze rivers. This film follows his attempt to swim the length of the Amazon, the world's longest river, to raise awareness of the depletion of the rain forests. But, rather like Herzog's Fitzcarraldo, the complexities of the adventure begin to spiral into chaos, with Strel's son and publicist Borut and navigator Matthew Mohlke caught up in Strel's grandiose plans.
S255E30 My Beautiful Dacia 07/09/2010
S255E31 Last Train Home 14/09/2010
S255E32 The Queen Of Persia 21/09/2010
S255E33 The Invention of Dr Nakamats 05/10/2010
S255E34 Murder in Mexico: Presumed Guilty 12/10/2010
S255E35 Dangerous Dreams 19/10/2010
S255E36 Bodysnatchers of New York 26/10/2010
S255E37 Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work 09/11/2010 DIrector Ricki Stern and co-director Anne Sundberg's film is an intimate portrait of American comedian Joan Rivers. Shot over a year when Rivers both staged an autobiographical play in London as well as appearing on America's Celebrity Apprentice, it also follows her gruelling schedule of one-night gigs. But the film also gets beneath the self-admittedly surgically altered skin of the comedian. She recalls how, when she left The Carson Show for her own on Fox, Johnny Carson never spoke to her again. She alse reveals how she felt when her husband Edgar, the show's manager, who had been stealing from her, committed suicide. Between the laughs emerges a portrait of a driven, successful woman - but one who cannot bear to be idle, because to be so would lead to unwanted self-examination.
S255E38 Tyson 16/11/2010 James Toback's film of Mike Tyson's life, told in the ex-fighter's own words, finds the controversial ex-heavyweight champion ruefully reflecting on his past, which has included a failed marriage, a conviction for rape, drugs use and fights where he didn¿t bother training, happy just to pick up the cheque at the end. But he is also forthcoming about his difficult childhood and what the loss of trainer Cus D'Amato, who was also a father figure and mentor, meant to him. Toback has know Tyson for 20 years but this is no whitewash, more a film of a troubled man unburdening himself with an honesty a stranger could never elicit.
S255E39 The Battle For Barking 30/11/2010 Laura Fairrie's film records an historic moment in British politics through the microcosm of one east London constituency. Made over the course of a year, the film follows two very different political opponents as they battle towards the 2010 General Election. Long-standing Labour MP Margaret Hodge is a stalwart of the New Labour establishment. Running against her is Nick Griffin, the British National Party leader. Griffin is a controversial figure, with a conviction for inciting racial hatred, who nonetheless commands considerable support. As it chronicles the rise and fall of the far-right BNP, it gives a fascinating insight into the inner workings of the 'BNP family' and the working class disillusionment with the Labour party that fuelled the BNP campaign, offering an honest, moving and humorous portrait of a white working class community forced to face the changes brought by new immigrant populations.
S255E40 I Was Bin Laden's Bodyguard 07/12/2010 Laura Poitras' film is the story of two men whose lives were intimately caught up with the Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and the very different paths those lives took after the American invasion of Iraq. Poitras originally intended the film to be about Guantanomo Bay prisoner Salim Hamdan, who was bin Laden's driver but then she met Abu Jandal, Hamdan's brother-in-law, bin Laden's bodyguard and a self-admitted recruiting officer for Al Qaeda. Jandal is a free man, working as a taxi driver in Yemen, now reformed (or so he says), who gained his freedom by naming names post 9/11. An engaging character, his on-screen presence is counterpointed by the absence of Hamdan, who is represented on screen by stills, letters to his family and his charismatic defence lawyer Lt Cmdr Brian Mizer, who is determined to gain his client a fair trial and his freedom. As Hamdan's trial continues, the film contrasts the two men's lives and beliefs in this intriguing interlocking drama.
S255E41 Road to Las Vegas 14/12/2010 This moving film follows Vanessa and Maurice Melton in their search for their fortunes. The African American couple, with five children, seek to escape the economic downturn by leaving their hometown of Anchorage, Alaska, and setting out in search of new horizons. With less than $300 and nothing but their car to live in, they embark on a road journey which eventually leads to Las Vegas, where plentiful jobs and cheap housing made it America's fastest growing city. But as boom turns to bust, the Meltons face infidelity, drugs problems and poverty, all of which threaten to overwhelm them. Filmed by Jason Massot over four years, Road to Las Vegas is a dysfunctional love story about new beginnings, past ghosts and the infinite promise of the American West.