Venus - The Naked Truth
Ever since her discovery, the Venus of Willendorf
has made waves all over the world. Her celebrity exploded
when Facebook banned images of her due
to explicit nudity - despite the fact that she is made
of stone, stands just seven centimetres high and is
29,500 years old. The «Stone Age Mona Lisa» is one
of human history's oldest artworks - and a source
of mystery. With the help of Venus von Willendorf,
researchers now can dismantle accepted myths
about the Stone Age and make a fresh evaluation
of old archaeological discoveries essential. Experts
are coming ever closer to discovering the reality of
Stone Age societies and gender roles within them.
Scientists are shaking the traditional clichés and
found out that women went hunting, did hard labor
and were even warriors...
Vanishing Kings - The Next Generation - Surviving The Skeleton Coast
The mother of the Five Musketeers, the heartwarming tragic heroes of «Vanishing Kings», bore three female desert lion cubs. When she disappears, days of frantic searching lead the sisters to a kill, viciously defended by their own aunt! Eventually, she lets them feed and follow her, scavenging what she leaves behind. Reaching an oasis with no maternal tutor they improvise, hunting ducks and cormorants as well as slaking their thirst. When one sisters disappears, the remaining two fear the worst. Until they realize she is now hunting oryx and giraffe with their aggressive aunt! Then one day, the two sisters discover the Skeleton Coast, ocean waves, and Cape fur seals. Desert lions have become coastal lions, with extraordinary self-taught behaviour, never documented before!
Greece - The Wild Side
Part I: The View From The Gods
Part II: Surrounded By Blue
Greece is a land of unique contrasts, craggy mountains
and lush forests, with wild animals that have
disappeared from the rest of Europe, enjoying
archaic relationships - and seemingly the special
powers of Greek Gods!
Part I takes us to isolated places like the Vikos
Gorge - Europe's Grand Canyon - where western
rock nuthatches make perfect bottle-shaped nests
out of the insects they catch! Beneath the sky-high
Meteora monasteries two male Egyptian vultures
fight over the last female; while down below the
extraordinary Sheltopusek, a bizarre legless lizard,
hunts exotic insects.
Part II Chameleons on land, cuttlefish in the water:
the astonishing colour-changing heroes of the
Greek Islands with their startling hunting, mating
and reproduction strategies. Add the snakes that
snatch migrating birds stopping for a drink and
a rest, and the valley in Rhodes where butterflies
coat the rocks and trees, and lizards hoover them
Maria Theresa - Europe's Mother-in-Law
The Empress arranged her children's marriages to make peace with France, Spain, Parma and Naples. One of these children was Marie Antoinette, who married Louis XVI of France before they were both decapitated. Needless to say, these marriages were largely unsuccessful. Watch as Maria Theresia struggled to balance dynastic responsibility and motherly love.
Stars and Stripes
Why is a baby deer born with white spots -and why do they disappear as it grows? Why is a young wild boar striped? What makes the stripes fade with age? And why is a goshawk spotted when it's young, and striped when it's older? «Somatolysis» is the answer. This ancient Greek expression means «dissolution of the body»: by changing its shape and contour. For many animals it's the key to survival in the critical first days and weeks. It works like a magic cloak, that makes hatchlings and youngsters virtually invisible. A female deer leaves her fawn unattended for hours. It's not strong enough to follow her, but she needs to graze to produce milk to feed it. The fawn's only hope is to be invisible. Maybe bright white spots aren't such a bad idea in a meadow full of daisies...
Mysteries of the Stone Age
They seem to have come from another world: circles and buildings made of gigantic stones. The most famous are Stonehenge in Britain and Carnac in France. But these megaliths from the Stone Age - 5,000 years BCE - are found all round the world, as recent discoveries show. There appears to be a network of sites from the north of Scotland to the Mediterranean (Malta alone has around 30 temples) to the Far East - with gigantic graves in Korea. It's still not clear how ancient civilizations managed to create these fantastic stone structures. How did they lift the huge blocks into place? And what can we learn about those societies? What were the turning points in their history? Was there a secret connection between the cultures that built the megalith circles? New studies and the latest international research reveal fresh clues to the biggest mysteries of the Stone Age.
The Prince and the Chief: Travels in the Interiors of North America
He has been a hero for generations of readers: Winnetou, the noble Apache, created by author Karl May in the late 19th Century. Millions of readers and viewers have been riveted by his adventures, and his friendship with the frontiersman Old Shatterhand. Behind the fiction lies a true story. In April 1833, scientist Maximilian von Wied, a German prince, and Swiss painter Karl Bodmer travelled up the Missouri by steamboat. They planned to observe and record the indigenous peoples and the epic landscape of the American West. During the trip, Von Wied befriended Mato Tope ('Four Bears') the deputy chief of the Mandan Tribe. Thanks to this relationship it became possible for Von Wied and Karl Bodmer to see the world of the indigenous peoples through different eyes. This documentary as well as the writings of Karl May are based on both accounts and memories of Prince Maximilian and Karl Bodmer.
Through a Raven's Eye
The Common Raven is the largest, cleverest and bravest European corvid - brave enough to make its home in the harsh landscape of the «Totes Gebirge». This barren limestone plateau at 2,500 meters soaks up rainwater, leaving the peaks bone-dry. Further down, the precipitation creates a paradise of turquoise lakes, pristine springs, moss-covered forests and mysterious moors. The temporary karst springs bring further specialist behavior: landlocked Danube bleak make short and spectacular migrations to their spawning grounds, and wallcreepers scurry up and down steep cliff s, looking for larvae; while chamois, ptarmigans and mountain hares eke out a living amongst the jagged rocks. Gliding on silent wings through this landscape of contrasts, the raven takes us on a tour of his realm.
Bears of the Karawank Mountains
The Bears are back! After virtually disappearing in the 20th Century, in the 21st the quiet giants are returning, padding once again through the mountain forests of central Europe, where Italy, Austria and Slovenia meet.
This film tells what happens through the year as inquisitive and intelligent bears cross these huge natural barriers in search of a new life in untouched wilderness - or ever closer to civilization. For bears eat many of the same things we humans like, and their refined senses honed instincts help them find it! The film opens our eyes to bear habits and to their enormous power. We humans have always been drawn to bears; always approaching them with fascination, and with just a small dose of fear.
Kestrels at Close Quarters
The drama of life is unpredictable - that's true for wild animals just as for humans. Kestrels have learned to live close to man; they even raise their hatchlings in our cities. This is the story of two kestrel couples bringing up their chicks in the same neighbourhood in the center of Vienna. While destiny rewards one breeding pair with success, the other kestrels face a more brutal fate: they have chosen an unsuitable location to brood and raise their hatchlings. With unflinching observation this film celebrates the family lives of Kestrels, their needs and efforts when breeding, and the life that follows a successful brood. Once the fledglings have learned to fly, parents and offspring face a vital decision: stay in Europe over the winter or head off to southern climes with abundant prey? Whatever they decide, another unpredictable drama of life beckons.
Cuba's Wild Revolution
Cuba has some of the richest wildlife in the Caribbean: 3,700 km of pristine coastline, mountain ranges still draped in primeval forest, swamps teeming with moisture-loving creatures - and much of it thrives because of Cuba's revolution. Decades of socialist government, U.S. embargoes and minimal development have left the island virtually unchanged.
This film will feature Cuba's wildlife where it meets the island's colonial and revolutionary past, and present: from the clouds of vultures riding the updrafts around Havana's legendary 'Habana Libre' hotel to the Cuban boa constrictors making their homes in the deserted mansions of long-gone sugar barons, to the coral-smothered cannon of wrecked Spanish galleons. Neighbors from Haiti to Jamaica may have flushed their natural wealth into the sea; Cuba sits like a green jewel in azure Caribbean waters, pulsing with life.
Portugal - Wild Land on the Edge
When Portugal was a great power linking the Old and New Worlds, wild mountain horses small enough for cramped ocean-going ships were captured and exported to gold-greedy Conquistadores. Now Portugal´s Algarve sea-horses are threatened by the excesses of tourism: plunging anchors, noisy jet-skis, illegal fishing. Portugal's 20th Century dictator Salazar imported inflammable eucalyptus trees for the timber industry, that caused devastating fires. But today hundreds of white storks still nest in Portugal's ancient, fire-proof cork oaks; while others nest on the cliffs and rock pillars of the Atlantic coast, battered by the world´s biggest waves. Endangered Mediterranean monk seals are rebuilding their numbers off Desertas Island, a rocky outcrop dominated by Europe´s largest wolf spider. With climate change massive flocks of Flamingos set up winter camp in the Tejo Delta at the gates of Lisbon, instead of migrating to Africa. Portugal: still a departure point for great adventures and a welcome home -- balanced on the threshold between land and sea.
Wild Way of the Vikings
The world of the Vikings was a world of ice and flames. A world of epic exploration, adventure and discovery. Connected to Nature in a profound way, the Vikings were the first to experience the fabulous wildlife of the Islands of Fire and Ice - Shetland, Iceland, Greenland and beyond.
This unique documentary combines never before filmed animal behaviour with a spell-binding historical narrative, drawn from the very sagas created by the Vikings 1,000 years ago. From killer whales hunting seals to arctic fox clans struggling to feed huge and hungry families. From the wily raven to the noble gyr falcon; walrus haul-outs in the sub-Arctic and vast herds of migrating reindeer, all filmed in 4K splendour. This is the Wild Way of the Vikings
Wild Austria - Created by Water
Part I: White Water, Blue Water Part II: The Flow of Time
Austria's Alpine glaciers, ancient seas and mighty rivers have carved out giant mountains, caves and lakes - key to its wildlife today. Eagles, ibex, marmots and deer are iconic, but there are other, stranger creatures: Goosander ducks breed in hollows high in trees. Just a day old, long before they can fly, the newly-hatched ducklings must leap up to ten meters to join their mother in the brook below. Through glacier melt, via waterfalls, streams and lakes, water finds its way downstream, creating habitats for lynx, wolves and foxes, but also owls, bats, frogs, dragonflies and water birds. They all find their home in Austria's unforgettable landscapes, created by water's endless cycle and ever-changing forms.
Empire of the Vineyard
A well-tended vineyard nurtures the quality of a wine over generations. But its micro-world is a battleground, an animal empire fought over in hundreds of tiny dramas every day. The irresistible smell of fresh vine- leaves tempts deer out of the woods in spring. European and Asian ladybugs swarm out of their underground colony to help save the vines from aphids, but are themselves attacked by ants that 'milk' the aphids for nourishment. Fox-cubs and young rabbits play together, but within weeks the tables turn and the furry playmates become prey. An ant-lion larvae lies in wait in its sandy pit for insect prey, while buzzards scan the soil for mice and hamsters. In the South of France the cat-like genet, the top vineyard predator, dines on rabbits, lizards, snakes and even unwary blackbirds, before finishing with a dessert of ripe grapes.
Corsica - The Unexpected Paradise
This large Mediterranean island combines several continents; a corner turned reveals a different world: crystalline mountain streams, gorges, with fragrant pine and chestnut forests next to brushland. Spinner dolphins, midget sharks and sperm whales play in sight of snow-capped peaks where fish eagles lazily circle. Corsica even has two distinct breeds of mouflon that have never met, introduced from Europe and Iran. 146 endemic plant and 12 animal species survive here, including a lizard that only lives on one wall of one stone hut on an offshore island!
The Woman who Knew Too Much: A Cold Case from the Cold War
Brilliant young Austrian economist Margarethe Ottillinger was arrested on 5th November 1948, crossing a bridge between the Soviet and American zones in post-war Vienna. It was a classic Cold War kidnapping. Ottilinger had been researching the Soviet exploitation of Austrian industry, but even after her release from a Russian prison seven years later, she never learned the official reason for her detention and torture. The rumour persisted that she was sacrificed by her boss and lover, the Austrian economics minister Peter Krauland. He had a Nazi past and there was evidence of a complicated web of corruption and political conspiracy. Using latest revelations from Russian and Austrian archives, this film turns a tragic personal story into an iconic account of Cold War deceit and skullduggery.
Luis Trenker - Hitler's Mountain Hero
Luis Trenker is a legend. Best known internationally for his mountain films with then actress Leni Riefenstahl ("The White Hell of Piz Pallü"), he had a controversial movie career under the Nazis and was championed by Italian Fascists, before being reborn after the War telling stories of his life on German television. This documentary shows the highs and lows of a long life, the delicate balance between Hitler and Mussolini, adaptation and resistance, box office success and cinematic art. Was he a Nazi collaborator or opposed to the Regime? Or simply an amoral survivor who never ceased moulding his own image?
A Walk on the Wild Side - The Vienna Prater
Vienna's Prater, an expanse of woodland at the heart of one of the world's great cities, was created by the Danube, and shaped by humans over the centuries. Today it is still a remarkable natural oasis. On warm summer days Viennese and tourists flock to the Prater in their thousands. The iconic Big Wheel offers spectacular views of Vienna's urban and wild sides, but few get to see the hidden dramas all around them - the beavers, badgers, roe deer and giant butterflies that take over as soon as the people have left. This film rediscovers the secret residents and surprising wildlife of Europe's oldest pleasure gardens. Specially developed remote cameras with infrared lighting reveal the everyday (or rather night-) life of a badger family, without disturbing these shy nocturnal burrowers.
The Secret Life of Snakes
They are among the most hated und feared animals on the planet - only few people recognize their beauty. This documentary features some of Europe's most stunning species, like the European adder, the nose-horned viper, the dice snake, the ringed snake and the Aesculapian snake. After a winter safe in burrows, sometimes in bundles of hundreds, the spring's warmth brings them back to life. Adders at 2,000 metres in the Alps have extra survival skills: they are almost pitch-black to absorb every last ray from the sun, and their offspring are born alive - it would be too cold for eggs. Storks and herons, martens and polecats predate their lower altitude cousins. Most snakes avoid humans. The Aesculapian snake likes to shimmy up trees to catch birds, but it's happiest where humans store grain or dump waste - that attracts lots of mice. And Europe has its own constrictor! So watch out next time you're walking in the park ...
Giants of the Atlantic - Azores
A gigantic underwater mountain range rises in mid-Atlantic. Just a few peaks near the surface, while nine reach still higher and form a row of green gems: the islands of the Azores. These vol - canic rocks, the last toehold between Europe and America, are of extraordinary beauty. The steep shelf of the Azores is a play and mating ground for several whale species. Here, groups of male sperm whales on their endless migration from the Arctic to the Antarctic, meet females. Humpback whales and fin whales breach - and blue whales come here too, to feed on the vast biomass produced in the ocean's depths. Drifting up from the deep, plank - ton and krill attract huge schools of fish and squid. Portuguese Men O' War drift threateningly on the surface, while undersea caves host cannibalistic shrimps, manta rays and moray eels. On the islands, the volcanoes' grassy craters are a winter home for songbirds from Iceland, Russia and North America, while their craggy outer walls form nests for vast colonies of Cory's Shearwaters.
High Life at Low Temperatures
The summits and sheer mountain ridges of Austria's 'Little Siberia' funnel the freezing air from snow-covered peaks into a gigantic hollow - a high-level plateauat 1,000 metres from which it cannot escape: Lungau is Austria's coldest region. Creeks andstreams start higher here, and create bogs, moors and countless alpine lakes. Summer is short but lively, as eagles rear their precious young and ermines eat their fill before the sparse winter returns, while black alpine salamanders give birth to live miniature versions of themselves beneath the tree-line.
Wild Boar - The Comeback
This is the story of the most underrated animal in our forests - and its remarkable comeback. Once stopped in its tracks by the Iron Curtain, the wild boar was given a huge boost by its fall in 1989. Suddenly nothing separated boars from western Europe's easy agri-pickings. In Alpine foothills it forages for roots, insects and carrion, and it's well wily enough to avoid hunters! Many farmers and town dwellers see the success of the wild boar as a modern plague, but this documentary, exploring the forests of Austria, France and Poland, takes the boars' point of view. And reveals them as intelligent - and even cute - masters of survival.
The Nero Files - Uncovering an Ancient Conspiracy
He's the most notorious of all Roman emperors. Heburned Rome, he engaged in incest, and killed hismother, his wife and thousands of Christians. Hewas a psycho. But suppose it was all lies? Whatif the «crimes» he committed never happened, orwere normal behaviour for a Roman emperor? Supposehis enemies decided to trash his reputation,and succeeded for two thousand years? Was Neroactually a hero, who took from the rich and gave tothe poor? Historians, psychologists, criminologistsand toxicologists are brought in as this documentaryreopens a cold case. Together they reveal a complexweb of lies, deflections and intrigues. Flashbacksand re-enactments encourage the viewer toexplore theories that are suddenly undermined byunexpected twists. The result: a reassessment ofRoman history. It's time to re-examine the NeroFiles.
Wild Caribbean - Rhythms of Life
Part I: Hunters
Part II: Whales and Volcanoes
Part III: Corals and Quetzals
Part I Spectacular action in paradise. From the opening sequence of a sea turtle snared by a tiger shark it's clear that no animal, Hunter or Hunted - above or below the water - can make it through life without a strategy for survival.
Part II When volcanoes burst from the ocean, they attract unique life forms to their steep jungle valleys and black sandy beaches - and create deep sea chasms that pods of sperm whales enjoy so much, they never leave.
Part III Caribbean coral coasts and islands, formed out of living and once-living creatures, are now a labyrinth of life. Every year in a stunning synchronized display of coral spawning, the «flower animals» re-colonise the reefs. Inland, Caribbean cloud forests with their legendary Quetzals are just as magical, but the suffocating sediment run-off from deforestation is now the corals' biggest challenge.
Secrets of Squirrels
Everybody loves squirrels, and yet we only know them from their brief visits to ground level. Now, extraordinary 4K storytelling shows European red squirrels in their own environment: high up in the treetops. This documentary traces their lifecycle from their preparations for winter, nest-building and nut-storing, through mating and rearing their young - and surviving the attacks of predators. Squirrels do nothing slowly, and this film shows why! The film also focuses on the grey squirrel, the bigger, stronger transatlantic interloper that carries a virus the reds can't combat. Greys now dominate most of Britain and much of Italy, but there's a lively campaign to win back for the cuddly red some of its lost territory!
Russia's Wild Sea
Part I: Only the Thoughest
Part II: Tides of Plenty
The Sea of Okhotsk lies between the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Japanese island of Hokkaido: the last and greatest unspoiled ocean on Earth. It can be harsh and unforgiving; temperatures drop to -40 degrees, typhoons and tsunamis lash the shores. But it's also a wildlife paradise where animals grow bigger, stronger and more numerous than anywhere else. Its iconic animals are giant brown bears, the world's biggest sea eagles and the acrobatic spotted seals. Grizzlies here don't all hibernate; some dip into the thermal baths and geysers left by the world's most active volcanoes. The few human inhabitants are held by the glory of the natural spectacles, including the world's largest seabird colonies, orca pods and humpback whales.
Far away, in south east Europe, a country dominated by high peaks and crystal-clear waters is home to a vast range of wild animals: Albania. Lake Ohrid, Europe's oldest lake, in the east, supports hundreds of endemic animals. It has outlived earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and even Ice Ages. The Balkans' largest lake, Lake Scutari, once part of the Adriatic Sea, is a vast bird reserve protecting Dalmatian pelicans, the rarest on the planet. Just 7 meters deep, Lake Scutari hosts a variety of small marshland animals that feed herons, ibis and flamingoes. In the springtime, it is covered by millions of water lilies, perfect shelter for snakes and other predators. This region also hosts the big predators: brown bears, lynx and jackals, in an intact habitat barely disturbed by humanity.This truly is a hidden Eden!
Wild Ireland - The Edge of the World
This film features Ireland's wild wonders as they have never been captured before -from humpback whales breaching off its southern shores, to puffins and manx shearwaters facing the gales of the west coast while raising their young on offshore rocks like Skelleg Island. Ireland's shores are grey seal heaven, and inland, the mountain scenes of red deer stags in the rutting season are as impressive as anywhere in Europe. Kestrels hunt from a ruined abbey in the burren, Ireland's limestone desert. Basking sharks, dolphins, squirrels, long-eared bats; there's something new at every turn, off-shore and on. Majestic salmon return from the Arctic and swim upriver into the purest freshwaters in Europe -and brave a murderous gauntlet of waterfalls and fishermen. Whooper swans fly back from their Icelandic summer to winter on Ireland's milder lakes; while in Donegal golden eagles fight the gales of the northern highlands to nurture their chicks on the sheer cliffsides.
This stunning metropolis has a flavor of two continents: Asia and Europe, divided and connected by the Bosporus straits. Though the Bosporus is one of the world's busiest shipping routes you can still see three species of dolphin here, while wild boar are known to swim across! For migrating birds Istanbul is a toehold as they head north for the European spring. Some animals have come to stay: exotic parrots, freed by customs officers, wild wolves invading from the east and mating with city strays, and beech martens, brought here by Egyptian traders and now a permanent fixture in the grand bazaar.
Lost City of the Gladiators
The gladiator school at Carnuntum, Roman city onthe Danube, turned slaves, prisoners, and also volunteerslike our hero Atticus into skilled and brutalentertainers who could be re-exported throughoutthe Empire. Precision, speed and spectacular techniquemade them true sports stars, kept in peakcondition by their vegetarian diet and rigoroustraining. Gladiators earned well and paid privatevisits to wealthy women admirers. But a moment'sloss of concentration in the arena was lethal, andeven in death, the loser must show no Emotion.
Europe's Last Nomads
A spectacular ancient tradition is being revived right across Europe: herdsmen leading flocks across the continent through the most savage and extreme landscapes. From Spain's legendary La Manchaplains, the last cowboys of this continent and their cattle migrate into the green highlands of Cuenca. In Romania sheep climb the Carpathian Mountains, all the way to the Ukrainian border, constantly under threat from wolves. On a Welsh island, migrating sheep even generate a habitat for rare birds.
When a female barn-owl's home - an old disused barn - is demolished, she has to seek a new place to live. On the way, flying through forests and across grasslands, she encounters most of the common owl species in Central Europe: long- and short- eared owls, little, tawny and eagle owls, some she can live peace- fully beside, others she must shun or risk becoming their prey. During her journey, the film shows how owls fly so silently and hunt so efficiently. It illustrates what they have meant to humans since ancient times, and how they live beside us today. It explains why they have become - unfairly - associated with death. Our owl finally finds a new home, as the guest of a barn owl family, in time to see the new clutch of young following their mother on their first majestic flight.