Berlin (BBC)

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History, Sociopolitical Documentary hosted by Matt Frei and published by BBC in 2009 - English narration

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Image: Matt-Frei-s-Berlin-Cover.jpg

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Berlin has seen everything from Nazi imperialism to the first gay mayor; it has been home to some of history’s most influential people including Bertholt Brecht, Marlene Dietrich and Einstein; and it’s a city that has been steeped in controversy and contradiction throughout the centuries. Co-produced by The Open University, Berlin is a new three-part documentary written and presented by award-winning, German-born, journalist Matt Frei, who unveils the turbulent and dramatic story of this city from the Prussian years right through to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Drawing bold connections between events, characters, art and architecture from 200 years of turbulent history, the series – which is shot in English reveals how the ideas, buildings and people of Berlin have become iconic symbols of our times. Travelling back and forth in time between the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, the 18th century Prussian years, Hitler’s Third Reich and Cold War Berlin, we discover a city of contrasts – divided and shaped by its own history. Unlike many other European cities, Berlin’s identity has moved and shifted as history has unfolded, something that has been reflected in its cultural scene. In a sense, Berlin is braver because of its turbulent past, and there is a real sense of endeavour and innovation. The series gets to the essence of this unique city, and brings a fresh view to a place that many viewers will think that they already know.

[edit] Dangerous Ideas

The 18th-century king Frederick the Great was a contradictory character whose legacy would define Berlin as a place of both aggressive militarism and enlightened idealism. He would be embraced as an icon by Hitler and, later, the Communist leaders in East Berlin. But Frederick's liberalism created a city in which new theories of sex and sexuality could flourish, inspiring groundbreaking art.
During the Cold War, the street that bore the king's name, Friedrichstrasse, was also brutally divided - and irreconcilable. Only after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 was King Frederick returned to his desired resting place. The funeral was intended as a laying-to-rest of more than just a body.

[edit] Ruined Visions

The story of Berlin and its buildings is one of visionary creation and terrible destruction, of human ambition and delusion. From the 19th-century architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel to the Bauhaus pioneers of Modernism and the rebuilding of the city after the fall of the Wall, it is a city that has always looked to the future.
Architect Albert Speer had grand plans to transform Berlin into a monumental Nazi capital for Adolf Hitler, and the buildings that remain from his scheme are still haunted by their terrible associations.
There is no other city in the world where the morality of the architecture has been so heavily scrutinized. Buildings with Imperial, Nazi and Communist pasts all inspire fierce debates about whether this city should acknowledge or deny its chequered history.

[edit] Ich bin ein Berliner

The life and character of Berliners have been defined by a struggle for freedom. In 1963, President Kennedy declared that all free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. But centuries earlier, the rulers of the city offered freedom to the oppressed. Jews moved to the city from Vienna and eastern Europe, and were instrumental in creating the city as it now exists. During the Nazi years, however, Berlin's Jews were driven underground, many unable to leave the city they loved.
When the Russians arrived at the end of the Second World War, Berlin's women found themselves at the mercy of rapists rather than liberators. Citizens became pawns in a global game through the Berlin blockade, and when the Berlin Wall was built, both East and West held themselves up as beacons of freedom. But only when it fell did Berliners attain the freedom that their early rulers had promised them.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: XviD
  • Video Bitrate: 1584 KB/s
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 1:76
  • Video Resolution: 704 x 400
  • Audio Codec: (Dolby AC3)
  • Audio Bitrate: 192 kb/s 48000Hz
  • Run-Time: 59mins
  • Framerate: 25FPS
  • Number of Parts: 3
  • Part Size: 746mb/s
  • Ripped by artistharry
  • Subtitles: English
  • Source: DVD

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