China: The Great Dragon - Citizens Battle to Clear the Skies
Severe air pollution, the price of China's rapid economic growth, is believed to kill nearly one million people annually. Yet China's leaders have declared "We will become an environmental superpower." Government officials have committed billions and have pledged to cut PM 2.5 pollution by 45% by the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Over three years, this program has explored the daunting challenges the Chinese are facing. It follows citizens battling this problem in Wuhan, where neighbors of major industries are dying of cancer, and in the steelmaking cities of Qinhuangdao and Tangshan, known as the most polluted cities in China. This program witnesses the unveiling of China's unknown struggle to go green.
It’s no overstatement to say that Hokusai Katsushika changed the world of art. The master of Japanese ukiyo-e influenced the Impressionists in Europe and affected fashion, music, anime, and even social thought. For this program, super high-definition 8K cameras get up close to the recent Hokusai exhibit at the British Museum. Tune in and find out how and why the artist’s appeal endures.
Koko Kondo: Relaying the Torch of Peace
Documentaries/Ethics and Religion
KoKo Kondo, a hibakusha who forgave the pilot of the plane that dropped the bomb, testifies her life of reconciliation in this documentary. Koko’s father was a pastor at a Hiroshima church near what later became Ground Zero. Koko, who was eight months old when the bomb struck, was saved when her mother pulled her from the wreckage of a nearby parsonage. After the war, Koko’s father began travelling to the U.S. to speak about A-bomb survivors’ plight and ask for help. In 1955, a US TV program planned to reunite her father with people who had played pivotal moments in his life. At age 10, Koko also was invited to the program as one of the guests and learned Captain Robert Lewis, co-pilot of the Enola Gay, was one of the people appearing. Koko recounts how Captain Lewis’s crying shocked her and changed her perception of the pilot totally. In the second half of the film, Koko remembers her difficult journey as a hibakusha such as when American scientists in a Hiroshima laboratory treated her as a test subject, and when her engagement was broken off because of her radiation exposure.
Unit 731: Elite Doctors and Human Experimentation
Japanese Imperial Army Unit731 secretly tested bacteriological weapons on human subjects in Manchuria during the war. Recently discovered testimony and documents shed light on this taboo subject.
A Tale of Love and Honor: Life in Gion
Kyoto bustles with tourists, but there is one place they cannot enter: the teahouses of Gion. When night falls in the narrow streets of this historic district, nearly 100 geishas stream into teahouses to entertain customers with their artistic skills, such as classical music and dance. Only a handful of invited guests are allowed inside. 77-year-old Kimi Ota is an Okami, a "house mother," who manages a 200-year old teahouse. An Okami must be a woman, cannot wed, but must give birth to a daughter so she can hand over the reins. Take a peek into the secretive world of geishas and witness their proud and wistful stories.
Give Us a Break! Part 2: 100 People with Disabilities Speak Out
“Give Us a Break” is a variety show in which one hundred people with disabilities gather in a studio to talk frankly with non-disabled entertainers about their experiences. The program ends with a vote on who wins the “MZK” (Most Zero Knowledge) title for misconceptions about people with disabilities. In this second edition, the discussion takes the form of quiz, with the non-disabled celebrities answering a variety of questions. How should people without disabilities interact in different daily situations with people who have disabilities? This entertaining program thoroughly explores difficult questions that often don’t have correct answers. In some cases, people who try to be “considerate” wind up being accused of discrimination! Non-disabled viewers who rarely encounter people with disabilities get a lighthearted yet provocative chance to uncover hidden prejudices and deepen understanding.
MEGA CRISIS: Forecasting Super Typhoons
Meteorologists are concerned that the margin of error in forecasts for heavy rain and typhoons could make damage much worse. Meanwhile, accurate forecasting is becoming more difficult than ever. The biggest reason for this is the rapid increase of the seawater temperature caused by global warming. This rise in temperature causes the flow of vapor and wind to change, making forecasting a challenge. This episode introduces the efforts being made at the frontline of weather forecasting, using cutting-edge CGI to visualize this natural mechanism.