Press Office

Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

BBC Four Spring/Summer 2010

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Rankin in South Africa | Tutu Talks

Wonderful Africa Season

In advance of this year's World Cup, BBC Four looks at the arts and culture, life and landscape of Southern Africa in a wide ranging season of films.

The UK's most famous fashion photographer, Rankin, has travelled all over the world taking pictures but in the single documentary Pictures Of Africa he explains why it's the photography of South Africa that has always gripped his imagination. 

In The Tutu Talks, a four-part discussion series, Archbishop Desmond Tutu tackles the most challenging issues facing Africa today.

Julia Bradbury sets out on South Africa Walks, to explore a nation that describes itself as “a world in one country”. Four very different walks take Julia to the coastline, mountains, a game reserve and the desert, where she unearths the history of a quite remarkable land.

Richard E Grant, a native of Swaziland, explores the controversial History Of Safari in a one-off film made in high definition, while in African Railroad Adventure, award-winning journalist and film-maker Sean Langan tells the story of modern day Africa through the lives of those who live, work and depend on the Freedom Railway, the Tazara Express.

In an eclectic series of programmes that bring alive the spirit of modern day Southern Africa, Hugh Masekela At 70 profiles one of South Africa's finest musicians.


Pictures Of Africa, BBC Productions, Scotland
The Tutu Talks, BBC Productions
South African Walks, A Skyworks production
History Of Safari, An Oxford Scientific production
African Railroad Adventure, A Renegade production
Sessions From The Barbican: Hugh Masekela, BBC Productions

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John Sergeant's Tracks Of Empire

John Sergeant's Tracks Of Empire

Political commentator and correspondent John Sergeant embarks on a unique 3,000 mile journey across India to discover how the lifeblood of the country – its railways – can be used to track an extraordinary history.

Travelling the length and breadth of the country, John never strays far from the railway line. For him, understanding the railways is the key to understanding India's past and present. 

But it's also about life on the railway today. John meets the people closest to the railways and, through their shared experiences, brings this captivating journey alive.

John Sergeant's Tracks Of Empire is a passionate and compelling exploration of political intrigue, wealth, power and privilege. As well as looking at how the British originally constructed this extraordinary engineering feat, through the prism of the railways itself, these two films trace India's social, economic and political identity.
The railways defined India's past, John aims to discover if they will also define its future.


A Mentorn Scotland Production

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Storyville – Shanghai Tales

Storyville – Shanghai Tales

News headlines proclaim that China is rapidly becoming a world superpower. But how do the Chinese live? What do they want from their lives? For five years film-makers Jing and Ding-Ding have been chronicling the lives of their friends in Shanghai, where they live.
All About My Friends tells the story of a travel agent who organises tours for foreigners and wants to be wealthy enough to retire. Can he keep to his target of getting rich amid the pressures surrounding his life?
The War Of Growing Up follows the lives of three 11-year-olds and their teachers and parents in the Shanghai school for high achievers.

Utopia shows how difficult it is for a woman in China not just to find the right man to father her child, but to get married, divorced, and remarried. The heroine of Utopia wants to make a living translating English language books into Mandarin, but that too is an activity not without risks.


BBC Productions

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BBC Four examines international culture – from the arts, life and landscape of Southern Africa to the railways which hold the key to India's past and present – as well as through its award-winning international documentary strand, Storyville.
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