Talking is something that is unique to humans, yet it still remains a mystery. Scientists beginning to unlock the secrets of speech – including a father who is filming every second of his son’s first three years in order to discover how we learn to talk, the autistic savant who can speak more than 20 languages, and the first scientist to identify a gene that makes speech possible.
Horizon also hears from the godfather of linguistics, Noam Chomsky, the first to suggest that our ability to talk is innate. A unique experiment shows how a new alien language can emerge in just one afternoon, in a bid to understand where language comes from and why it is the way it is.
“No Justice!” “No Peace!” This rising chant from the streets escalated in answer to the seemingly endless incidents of police brutality throughout this great nation. Following the shooting of Amadou Diallo by 4 members of the NY City Police Department these chants rose from the streets by heartbroken and enraged voices. However, there are two sides to every story and the truth is often found where you least expect it. “If I Die Tonight” reflects on the lives and stories of those who survive on both sides of an impenetrable divide.
The Mojave- a landscape of extreme and fragile beauty- will encounter new challenges with the coming climate change. Desert field researchers tell the story in their words and share their experiences with us. Joshua trees, Bighorn sheep, pupfish, desert springs, and even the soil crust itself face new problems.
Chaos theory has a bad name, conjuring up images of unpredictable weather, economic crashes and science gone wrong. But there is a fascinating and hidden side to Chaos, one that scientists are only now beginning to understand.
It turns out that chaos theory answers a question that mankind has asked for millennia – how did we get here?
In this documentary, Professor Jim Al-Khalili sets out to uncover one of the great mysteries of science – how does a universe that starts off as dust end up with intelligent life? How does order emerge from disorder?
It’s a mindbending, counterintuitive and for many people a deeply troubling idea. But Professor Al-Khalili reveals the science behind much of beauty and structure in the natural world and discovers that far from it being magic or an act of God, it is in fact an intrinsic part of the laws of physics. Amazingly, it turns out that the mathematics of chaos can explain how and why the universe creates exquisite order and pattern.
‘Act of God’ is a film about lightning. There are stories, some miraculous, others tragic, of people who have been struck by it; various people interested in it, or more generally, in the effects of electricity on the human brain, tell us why; and there is also some footage of storms. But there’s no science, and no structure either; and the choice of material never seems other than random, the selection is too broad to make the film seem personal, but too sketchy to make the film definitive. The director is clearly in awe of in his subject, but ultimately doesn’t appear to have very much to tell us about it, although getting hit by a bolt is clearly a bad idea. In truth, as a viewer, I was bored.
A, some may say, long overdue reminder of the fact that one of this century’s greatest musicians was also a radical political spokesperson for a generation, before he was permanently silenced on 8 Dec 1980. The U.S. vs. John Lennon, showing at Watershed from Fri 8 – Thu 21 Dec, is a fascinating, richly detailed documentary which focuses on John Lennon’s post-Beatle decade when he took a foray into radical American politics.
The film details what happened when the U.S. Government started to perceive that the media attention which the Liverpudlian singer and new wife Yoko Ono were garnering could be a threat to them. Skilfully combining archival footage, Yoko Ono’s home movies, and interviews with everyone from Gore Vidal to G. Gordon Liddy, directors David Leaf and John Scheinfeld explore Lennon’s peace activism against the backdrop of one of the most turbulent decades in recent American history, 1966-1976. The result is an eye-opening exposé of the covert tactics Richard “Tricky Dick” Nixon and his cronies used in their efforts to try and silence and even deport Lennon.
A documentary of insect life in meadows and ponds, using incredible close-ups, slow motion, and time-lapse photography. It includes bees collecting nectar, ladybugs eating mites, snails mating, spiders wrapping their catch, a scarab beetle relentlessly pushing its ball of dung uphill, endless lines of caterpillars, an underwater spider creating an air bubble to live in, and a mosquito hatching.
Recent legislation attempting to legitimize the use of internment camps to detain U.S. citizens in the event of an uprising or civil unrest has many people asking what nation they live in. Who are the potential domestic terrorists that will end up in these camps? Read the documentation for yourself and hear what our experts have to say. States rights take a front row seat in this new political thriller that is guaranteed to send shivers up your spine. Find out where the true power of the people rests in halting these treasonous activities NOW!
“This smart documentary dares to explore the increasingly intimidating terrain of girlhood by following three 12 year-olds over the period of one year. As these girls move from childhood to maturity it’s clear that peer pressure is an important influence, but as the films shows, the greatest influence in a young girl’s life is family. Filmmaker Victoria King’s creative approach, including the use of ‘diary-cam’ footage, not only follows the girls but allows them to question the world in their own voices. Ultimately, the film reveals the complexities of being 12, both satisfying our curiosity and inviting us to ask, ‘What happens next?'”
You might think that your memory is there to help you remember facts, such as birthdays or shopping lists. If so, you would be very wrong. The ability to travel back in time in your mind is, perhaps, your most remarkable ability, and develops over your lifespan. Horizon takes viewers on an extraordinary journey into the human memory. From the woman who is having her most traumatic memories wiped by a pill, to the man with no memory, this film reveals how these remarkable human stories are transforming our understanding of this unique human ability. The findings reveal the startling truth that everyone is little more than their own memory.