Doris Lessing – The Reluctant Heroine (2008, 2013)

Another chance to see a rare film made with writer Doris Lessing, five years before her recent death at the age of 94. Alan Yentob meets this acerbic, forthright yet warm woman, winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for literature. Brought up in southern Africa, she took London by storm in 1950. She has believed in ‘ban the bomb’ and telepathy, been a Communist and a ‘Free Woman’, written realist novels and science fiction. She is perhaps most remembered for her raw and revealing Golden Notebook, which inspired and influenced a generation of women.


The Dark Side of Porn (2005, 2006)

The Dark Side of Porn is a documentary series that examines the adult entertainment industry.

“Porn Shutdown”

Darren James was diagnosed with HIV in early 2004, which led to a two month shutdown of the adult movie industry in Los Angeles. Featuring Sharon Mitchell, founder of the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation and Rob Black, producer of Gonzo pornography.

“Diary of a Porn Virgin”

This episode gives an insight in the lives of newcomers to the adult entertainment. From the initial approach to a glamour agency and the first sexy photo-shoot to the HIV test, the audition and the first hardcore shoot, it shows the gritty reality of what working in the porn industry means in Britain today.

“Debbie Does Dallas Uncovered”

Also known as The Curse of Debbie Does Dallas, in the vein of Inside Deep Throat, it examines the history of the production and marketing of the 1978 cult hit, Debbie Does Dallas, and is a study of the porn industry in the 1970s. Interviews with former porn stars also try to uncover the mystery of Bambi Woods, the starlet who disappeared from porn soon after Debbie Does Dallas and was rumored to have connections with the mafia and problems with the FBI. Featuring interviews with Robin Byrd, female actress in the movie and Bill Kelly, a former FBI agent once working on an undercover operation to bust porn producers.

“Death of a Porn Star”

This episode examines the mystery surrounding the death of Lolo Ferrari. Featuring candid interviews with Lola’s mother, her plastic surgeon and her husband.

“Amateur Porn”

This episode examines what is going on in the British sex industry, where new male actors are lining up to do a job without getting paid.

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“Me and My Slaves”

This episodes is centered around “Rick”, a professional BDSM Master who wants to quit the job after doing it for 25 years. Over a period of more than a year, Rick talks intimately about his life.

“Hunting Emmanuelle”

This episode examines the cultural impact of the movie Emmanuelle. Featuring an interview with Sylvia Kristel.

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“Does Snuff Exist?”

This episode investigates the truth behind snuff movies. It features the 1997 German case where Ernst Dieter Korzen and Stefan Michael Mahn kidnapped a prostitute and recorded her torture. It includes an interview with British detective superintendent Michael Hames.

“The Real Animal Farm”

Looks into the story behind bestiality porn movies, and discusses the notorious Animal Farm video. Several interviewees, including David Kerekes (co-author of Killing For Culture and See No Evil), author Phil Tonge, feminist writer Germaine Greer and British pornographer Ben Dover, all admitted to having seen bootlegs of Animal Farm in the 1980s, but were apparently unaware that there was no such film — the entity referred to as such was merely a number of existing bestiality shorts tacked together. The documentary also told the story of Bodil Joensen, a psychologically traumatized young woman whose brief notoriety as the “Queen of Bestiality” was followed by a downward spiral of alcohol abuse and prostitution before her death of cirrhosis of the liver at the age of forty, and featured an interview with the Danish pornographer Ole Ege.

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Who’s Afraid of Machiavell? (2013)

With performances from Peter Capaldi, imagine… marks the 500th anniversary of Machiavelli’s notorious book The Prince. Famous for lines like ‘It is better to be feared than loved’, The Prince has been a manual for tyrants from Napoleon to Stalin. But how relevant is The Prince today, and who are the 21st century Machiavellians? Alan Yentob talks to contributors including Colonel Tim Collins, who kept a copy of The Prince with him in Iraq; plus Hilary Devey, Alastair Campbell and Game of Thrones writer George RR Martin.


Palestine is still the issue (2002)

“In the special report John Pilger returns to the Occupied Territories of the West Bank and Gaza where he filmed a documentary with the same title, about the same issues, in 1974. He finds the basic problems unchanged: a desperate, destitute people whose homeland is illegally occupied by the world’s fourth biggest military power. He hears extraordinary stories from Palestinians, though most of his interviews are with Israelis whose voices are seldom heard, including the remarkable witness of a man who lost his daughter in a suicide bombing.”