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Danny Boyle, David Livingstone, Ruth Ozeki

Rana Mitter talks to Danny Boyle about grand narrative history and his new film, and Ruth Ozeki discusses her new novel. Plus the 200th anniversary of Dr David Livingstone's birth.

From grand national narrative in the Olympic Opening Ceremony, to the treacherous dynamics within a gang of criminals in Shallow Grave, Danny Boyle's work has a very wide range indeed. Trance, his first film since the Olympics, deals with memory, betrayal and illusion. He joins Rana Mitter to discuss the British film industry and what he thinks is the role of creativity in boosting the economy.

As we approach the 200th anniversary of Dr David Livingstone's birth, Rana discusses the man beyond the infamous sentence Dr Livingstone, I presume? and reassesses his legacy in today's Africa, with historian John MacKenzie and anthropologist Kit Davis.

Rana Mitter meets Ruth Ozeki whose novel "A Tale for the Time Being" spans Japan's twentieth century and connects the trauma of the second world war with the recent Tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disasters: all this through the prism of a little girl's attempt to write the story of her great-grandmother's life.

The defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 is a well-known part of the national story. Less well known is that whilst Britain was being besieged by Catholic Europe to the south, the Tudors and early Stewarts eagerly cultivated diplomatic relations with the courts of the Russian Tsars to the north and east. An exhibition exploring this relationship opens at the Victoria & Albert Museum this weekend, and Rana visits it with Russian historian and curator of the Kremlin Museum, Dr Olga Dmitrieva.

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45 minutes


  • Danny Boyle

    Danny Boyle talks to Rana about the UK film industry & economy and the teaching of history

    Duration: 11:24

  • David livingstone

    Rana discusses Dr David Livingstone with John MacKenzie and Kit Davis

    Duration: 12:58

  • Royal Court

    Rana along with Dr Olga Dmitrieva visits a new exhibition on the Royal Courts at the V&A

    Duration: 07:48

  • Ruth Ozeki

    Ruth Ozeki talks about her new novel "A Tale for the Time Being"

    Duration: 11:28

David Livingstone at 200

The 200th anniversary of the birth of David Livingstone is on 19th March 2013, with various events taking place throughout the year to mark the occasion. Dr Livingstone, I Presume? is on at National Museums Scotland until 7th April.

National Museums Scotland: Dr Livingstone

David Livingstone 200

Imperial Obsessions: David Livingstone

A Tale For The Time Being

A Tale For The Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki, is published on 11th March by Canongate.

Treasures of the Royal Courts

Treasures of the Royal Courts: Tudors, Stuarts and the Russian Tsars is on at the V&A Museum in London from 9th March - 14th July.

V&A Museum


Trance, directed by Danny Boyle, is released in UK cinemas on 27th March.


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