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WOMEN ADVENTURERS

No fear

WOMEN ADVENTURERS features five stories of truly remarkable women. Explorers, pilots or thrill seekers, each set off on an odyssey to a remote and often unknown part of the world.

Some found adventure by reaching their goals, be it an unknown tribe or a Forbidden City. Others had adventure thrust upon them as their journey was interrupted by unforeseen obstacles, leading them to struggle for their lives in the wastes of Siberia or the deserts of Arabia.

The stories take us all over the globe, from 1908 to the 1930’s, and combine authentic diaries, letters, photographs, archival film and dramatic re-enactments that bring each film to life in an immediate and very compelling way.

5x52mn
  • Format series
  • Available versions French / English
  • Director Jane Armstrong
  • Author Jane Armstrong
  • Rights TV / Worldwide except North America

CASTLE TOWERS IN JAPAN

In the age of civil strife in Japan, a castle was a proof of authority for "daimyo," the feudal lord, and the castle tower overlooking the entire castle was its symbol. There are 12 castle towers now-existing in Japan after surviving war-torn era, repeatedly restored or rebuilt....
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7x30mn4K

KOREAN BROKEN FAMILIES

The heartbraking reunion
The diplomatic relations between North Korea and South Korea are warming up but there is still a deep wound going back to the time of the Cold War: the separation of refugees’ families. Lee Geumsum was a young mother when she had to flee the Korean War in 1951. She wandered several...
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52mn4K

NORTH KOREA VS USA: A NUCLEAR CHICKEN GAME

The winning survival strategy of the Kims
In North Korea, the Kims’ communist dynasty has tried to become a nuclear power since the Cold War. While it kept unrelentingly at its plan, the USA went through 13 Presidents, each with its own vision. This became the Kims big advantage. This film is the riveting account of a...
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52mn4K

THE MASTER OF FORTRESSES

Military Superstructures
Vauban était un homme aux multiples facettes mais son nom est surtout resté comme l’un des plus grands constructeurs militaires de tous les temps Copié dans le monde entier et à travers les siècles, du Maroc aux Pays-Bas jusqu'au Viêt...
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52mn4K

WORLD HERITAGE CANAL

An architectural wonder and a technical prowess
In the 17th century, Louis XIV financed the digging of a canal connecting the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, the second largest construction of his reign after Versailles. Using the latest technology of its time, the beautifully conceived Canal du Midi is among the oldest functioning...
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52mn4K

1944 LE HAVRE UNDER THE ALLIES’ BOMBS

A war crime under wrap
Three months after D-Day, on a morning of September 1944, people of Normandy woke up in shock. Despite the German offer to evacuate civilians, Le Havre and its inhabitants had been crushed under British bombs in the deadliest bombardment conducted over France during WWII. The Germans were...
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52mnHD

A STOLEN LIFE

Spain is facing a dreadful scandal
Over the span of 40 years, 200,000 to 300,000 babies have been stolen from their parents at birth at the clinic to be sold to couples in search of children to adopt. These foster parents had to comply with ultra-Catholic, conservative right-wing ideology. Moreover, this traffic was...
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52mnHD

AFGHANISTAN, THE FRENCH DOCTORS LEGACY

An unrelenting dedication
The 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan launched a 10-year dirty war. As soon as 1980, French doctors came to the rescue of the local population at the risk of their own lives. They were appropriately nicknamed “The French Doctors”. Since then, their action has spread all over...
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52mnHD

AL QAEDA: WORLD TERRORISM

The birth of the jihadist movement
The years from 2001 to 2011 have been plagued by Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. But to understand how this former business student from a wealthy Saudi family became the leader of the international jihadist movement, we must go back in time and dive into the various episodes of the wars in...
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52mnHD

AUNG SAN SUU KYI, FREEDOM AS LEGACY

The mother of the burmese nation
This film goes back into the history of Aung San Suu Kyi whose exceptional destiny has inspired the Burmese people. She has devoted her life to guiding her nation to democracy and, after having been assigned to residence for 20 years by the military junta, she is today rediscovering her...
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52mnHD

BRAZILIAN THIRST

Amongst thorny trees, the land of the Brazilian Robin Hood
Brazil is known as the most water rich country in the world. Nevertheless, the Nordeste suffers chronic droughts. The Sertao, more particularly, is an unforgiving region covered with caatinga, a thorny vegetation in which one can raise only a few animals. It was here that Lampiao, the...
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52mnHD

CHINA VS USA, EMPIRES AT WAR

A new conflict for a new century
America’s intelligence community is quietly preparing for a new conflict, one which hasn’t made headlines yet: the Chinese Threat is America’s new war. If Taiwan is today the most explosive strategic issue between China and the USA, there are already skirmishes (some...
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52mnHD

CIVILIZATIONS’ LEGACY

Decoding the stones
Today’s world is etched in yesterday’s stones. The story of humanity is craddled in some few seminal civilizations. Based on archeological and historical research as well as contemporary social, economic and political information, this collection of stand-alone episodes offers...
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8x52mnHD

DA VINCI UNFULFILLED DREAM

The master's uncompleted architectural capstone
In his last years, Leonardo Da Vinci started to work on his ultimate masterpiece: the plans of an extravagant royal palace in Romorantin, a village that was meant to become the new capital of France. Preliminary work began but the building never got off the ground. On the basis of...
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52mnHD

FIFTEEN YEARS OF TERROR

Terrorism recent history
In fifteen years, from the 9/11 attacks against the World Trade Center to those in Paris in November 2015, dramatic and deadly strikes have been targeting Western countries like never before and have changed the face of the world. In between these two major events, the aggressions and...
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2x52mnHD

GEORGIA

The best kept secret in the Caucasus
Situated at a crossroad between Europe and Asia, Georgia has been invaded by Persians, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks, Mongols and Bolsheviks; but no one has been able to crush the energy and artistic creativity of a people who consider dance and wine to be the expression of its Caucasian...
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52mnHD

GOODBYE MOUBARAK!

A revolution in progress
On January 25, 2011, the Egyptian people rises up. Suddenly, the entire world is taken aback. In only 18 days, the popular rebellion causes the fall of Mubarak’s regime. Yet, three months earlier, anger was already brewing beneath the surface. Outraged by the illegitimacy and...
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72mnHD

HERITAGE HEROES

Revamping historical neighborhoods
Whether restoring ancestral homes in China, revitalizing a derelict railway line in New York or renovating colonial seafront buildings in Zanzibar, HERITAGE HEROES scours the world for the people and organizations responsible for rescuing, safeguarding and reviving our built heritage....
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6x24mnHD

ISIS: TERRORISM 2.0

How did the World let it emerge?
On November 13, 2015, a new terrorist organization strikes at the heart of a major Western capital: Paris. The toll is terrible giving ISIS an overnight and sinister fame. What is this terrorist group? Who are its men? Why going after France and the West? How did we let such a monster...
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52mnHD

IT’S ALL IN LEBANON

Pop culture and civil war
After 17 years of civil war between Christians and Muslims, the Israeli invasion, the Syrian occupation, 20,000 victims, Lebanese thought it was finally over. But 20 years after the official end of the war, Lebanon is still not a cohesive nation. Somehow, this film shows how peace has...
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52mnHD

KIM JONG-IL: THE FORBIDDEN BIOGRAPHY

A hazardous handover
Kim-Jong Il was the most secretive political leader on earth. A grotesque dictator with a finger on the nuclear trigger. Starting from a personality profile of this schizophrenic dictator through exclusive testimonies, this film offers a geopolitical analysis of the Korean peninsula based...
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52mnHD

KIM JONG-UN: THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY

The heir to the first communist dynasty in History
He is the living God of the 9th nuclear power of the world. He is a Western educated young man and a basketball fan but raised in secrecy to take over the commands of the North Korean regime, the first communist dynasty in history. From him we only have amusing, absurd and sometimes...
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52mnHD

LOG TRAIN TO PARIS

No wood, no ovens. No ovens, no bread. No bread... riots.
For more than three centuries, from 1547 to 1923, the forests of the Morvan region of France sent timber down the rivers to Paris. This vital source of energy was controlled by powerful wood merchants. The stakes were indeed high: without wood there could be no ovens; without ovens there...
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52mnHD

MY CULTURAL REVOLUTION

Mao's grinder
“I was barely 10 when I was thrown into this madness. The turmoil swallowed me. When it was over, I was a man. A pretty unusual teenage crisis!”. Xu Xing, a Chinese writer, revisits his early years which were ravaged by the Cultural Revolution. It cost him his illusions, his...
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52mnHD

RAMESSES II THE GREAT JOURNEY

The post-mortem adventures of the greatest Pharaoh
3200 years ago, Egypt is living the final hours of its golden age under the reign of Ramesses II. After ruling the country for 67 years, the great pharaoh dies at the ripe old age of 92. His mummy is burried in the heart of the Valley of the Kings. This is the beginning of his great...
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52mnHD

THE "ACTION DIRECTE" ORGANISATION SECRET HISTORY

A murderous ideology
In 1979, with the launching of Action Directe, France followed the path of its German and Italian neighbors with the emergence of a domestic terrorist violence which culminated with the murders of army General Audran in 1985 and of the head of Renault Georges Besse in 1986. The following...
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52mnHD

THE FINAL JOURNEY OF THE ROMANOVS

A century old tragedy
Following the February 1917 Russian revolution, the Tsar Nicolas II abdicates. This film is an exceptional daily account of the tragic fate of the whole imperial family until its demise in July 1918. It is the story of a drama unfolding while History is on march, from the February and...
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52mnHD

THE GREAT MASTERS OF PAINTING

The greatest art geniuses
These masters of painting have been piercing observers of their times, leaving their works for posterity. Often misunderstood, even harassed by the critics, they were trailblazers of new artistic movements which transformed art forever and still fascinate scholars today. This collection...
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15x52mnHD

THE IMMORTAL SHADOWS

When entertainment becomes art
Animation is one of today’s most popular forms of entertainment which makes great use of ever evolving technologies. However its origin goes way back, in a long forgotten traditional art that a Japanese shadow master wants to bring to a new audience. His quest takes him to a remote...
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52mnHD

THE SECRET OF THE STONES

On the trail of History
THE SECRET OF THE STONES unveils the greatest archeological landmarks of the Mediterranean and the Middle East and the history that presided over their construction, their development and ultimate decline. Through findings shared by prestigious archeologists and with the help of CGI, we...
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8x52mnHD

THE TOMB OF THE USSR

40 years after, the story of a war that changed the face of the World
Forty years ago the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan launched to a 1O-year dirty conflict that changed the face of the world. Through exclusive archives of the Afghan guerilla and the testimony of the Soviet former commander in chief, discover the full story of a war which marked the...
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52mnHD

THE TRUE STORY OF PAPILLON

The most incredible ever escape from hell story
“Papillon”, starring Steve Mc Queen and Dustin Hoffman, was a major box office success when it came out in 1973 and is still viewed today as the best ever “escape from hell” scenario. It was actually based on a true story of 2 hoodlums locked away in a gruesome...
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52mnHD

THE VIOLINS OF HOPE

The violins of Holocaust victims return to life
In this no ordinary concert, the great violinists Shlomo Mintz and Cihat Askin appear with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, playing instruments that belonged to Holocaust victims. Often severely damaged, the violins were found in liberated death camps and deserted ghettos after the...
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88mnHD

TIAN ANMEN: THE FORBIDDEN MEMORY

30 ans after...
June 1989, Beijing, Tian Anmen Square. The tanks of the People’s Liberation Army violently repress the democratic aspirations of the Chinese youth. It is a bloodshed, with nearly a thousand killed. June 2009, Beijing, Tian Anmen Square. Friendly policemen, gazing tourists and Mao...
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52mnHD

TRAILBLAZERS IN HABITS

The Sisters who stood up for Human Rights
In America, the Maryknoll Sisters are truly iconic. Far from the clichés of Catholic nuns removed from the turmoil of the world, they have been witnesses and sometimes active players in some of the major historical events of the last Century such as the Chinese revolution, the...
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58mnHD

ARCHITECTS ON THE FRONTLINE

A construction to change life
If society has an influence on architecture, the reverse is also true in the sense that some projects come to define a city, a region or a country. This series spans the globe charting projects from China to the Middle East from Africa to Europe, from small innovative constructions like...
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3x22mn

BUDDHA ON THE SILK ROAD

Unearthing incredible artistic treasures
A thousand years ago, adventurers left China crossing the endless desert in a quest for another world. Their crossing led the way to what would become the Silk Road. For centuries, the Silk Road, even if inhospitable, was nevertheless the stage of intense traffic and trade in which...
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52mn

CINEMA ACCORDING TO DALI

The other side of the surrealist genious.
Salvador Dalí is one of the most widely recognized and controversial artists of the 20th century. Little known is that he was also an avant-garde filmmaker (collaborating with such giants as Luis Buñuel, Walt Disney and Alfred Hitchcock) though his fascination with film has...
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52mn

FASHION VICTIM: THE KILLING OF GIANNI VERSACE

The rise and fall of a fashion icon
FASHION VICTIM: THE KILLING OF GIANNI VERSACE is the chilling and mesmerising story of a fashion giant set against the equally extraordinary tale of the life of his nemesis, 27 year old Andrew Cunanan. From the high-octane fashion circuits of Milan and Paris to the drug-ridden underworld...
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52mn

HUMANS: WHO ARE WE?

The uniqueness of man
In this two-part documentary, fossil hunters, linguists and psychologists come together for the first time to explain why humans are so unique. We alone can create spaceships and play music. Why? HUMANS: WHO ARE WE? answers this question and many more through spectacular re-enacted scenes...
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2x52mn

JACKIE KENNEDY: POWER & STYLE

The one and only Queen of America
Time has not dimmed the Jackie Kennedy mystique. Millions of people are still captivated by the details of her life and something more: her impeccable sense of self. As First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy brought beauty, intelligence and much taste to her role. Her courage during the tragedy...
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52mn

LIBERTY SHIPS

The oceans workhorses of WWII
In 1999, an old cargo ship, the Zhan Dou 43, ended its long career somewhere in China. This seemingly mundane event marked the end of the most incredible maritime and industrial saga. The Zhan Dou 43 was launched in Baltimore in 1943 and was the last Liberty Ship still plying for trade....
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2x52mn

LIVING STONES 2

The wonders of archeology
This second season of LIVING STONES is the half-hour version of THE SECRET OF STONES, an extensive documentary series devoted to the archeological heritage of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It unveils the greatest landmarks and the history that presided over their construction,...
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10x26mn

MASSOUD, THE LION OF PANJSHIR

An icon of resistance to the Soviet Union and Islamic fanaticism
Less than 48 hours before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Commander Ahmad Shah Massoud was assassinated by two men disguised as journalists. He was an icon of resistance to the Soviet Union and, subsequently, to Islamic fanaticism. Today, the outlandish commander is as...
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52mn

THE LAND AND THE SACRED

The spiritual dimension of natural elements
Through time and across civilizations, Man has always given a spiritual dimension to Earth and Nature. For instance, water has been the source of numerous legends and rituals while animals have been assimilated as divinities or messengers of the gods. Even landscapes, with the mountains,...
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3x52mn

THE PEBBLE, FROM CLIFF TO MAN

A geological saga
High white chalk cliffs overhanging a long beach and its pebbles. Nothing special. Yet these pebbles are the outcome of a long and fascinating process involving all natural elements. Issued from the cliffs, they take on their gentle shapes only after a long process of erosion. On this...
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52mn

THE POACHING OF AFRICAN WILDLIFE

Story of a mass murder
The story of Man and the African fauna dates back to the circus games in Rome and the sacrifice of an incredible number of animals. Later on, animals will become prey to white colons trophy hunters and then victims of the African themselves when the demographic explosion will lead to the...
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52mn

THE VIETNAM WAR

A descent into hell
The Vietnam War cost the lives of 58.000 Americans and 3.000.000 Vietnamese. It was a defining event for an entire generation and the most divisive thing that has happened to America in modern times. For over 30 years Americans, as well as the rest of the World, have asked why: why did...
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3x52mn

UMBRIA

The boat that became a reef
On June 10, 1940, the Umbria, a huge Italian battleship, went down in the Red Sea near Port Sudan. With the vessel 10,000 tons of ammunition, 300,000 bombs and air mines, military trucks, motorcycles and 50,000 Austrian silver coins sank to the bottom of the sea. In 1949, underwater...
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52mn