Documentaries to watch in 2009

I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries on YouTube recently, so I figured it might be a good idea to recommend a few. I think all of them are well worth seeing, if you haven’t viewed them already.

First off, The World at War, a 1973 26-part documentary on the second world war that examines practically everything about the conflict from Weimar Germany to the aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier. It’s the definitive WWII documentary out there. Link to the first part of episode 1 on YouTube.

The Cold War was a 1998 CNN-produced series on the subject of (surprise!) the cold war which quickly followed after the second world war. Narrated by Kenneth Branagh. This series aspires strongly to be a sort of follow-up to The World at War, and is stylistically very similar. Link to first episode on Google Video.

Phantoms in the Brain (YouTube link to part 1 of episode 1) is an extremely interesting documentary on neuroscience based on the work of (and featuring) Dr. V.S. Ramachandran, who has led pioneering work on perception and unusual neurological phenomena such as phantom limb syndrome and epilepsy-caused “religious experiences”.

Finally, The Living Dead is a 1995 Adam Curtis documentary on the way history and memory have been manipulated since the second world war and the issues which this type of manipulation has created. Link to episode 1 on Google Video.

Happy viewing…

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