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ABC Documentaries Season 2010

Here's where to watch every episode of ABC Documentaries season 2010. Mouseover or tap an episode to see where to stream it. Click or tap the play icon to stream it on the best available service.
Season 2010, Episode 00 Foreign Correspondent: Collision Course (Gaza)

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Sep 7, 2010
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Foreign Correspondent: Collision Course (Gaza) Sep 7, 2010 “Mavi Marmara you are approaching an area of hostility! If you ignore this order and attempt to enter the blockaded area the Israeli Navy will be forced to take all necessary measures to enforce this blockade!” So begins the a tense stand-off 150 kilometres off the coast of Gaza and in the dark hours that followed nine of the ship’s passengers died and many more – including seven Israeli commandos – were injured.The appalling, bloody and ultimately deadly events in late-May this year this year onboard the Mavi Marmara remain clouded in claim and counter-claim.The ship’s mission – according to the organisers – was to lead a flotilla sailing a course to and through Israel’s blockade of Gaza, delivering much needed aid but as the erstwhile Turkish cruise-liner bore down on the coast it predictably encountered a naval patrol unwilling to yield passage to the activists.So what happened next and why did so much seemingly go so wrong?Collision Course is the most detailed and revealing investigation of the ill fated voyage so far assembled. It sheds a great deal more light on this murky incident. From the BBC’s highly regarded Panorama team, the program features never-before-seen video from on-board the Mavi Marmara, goes inside Israel’s hitherto covert navy teams and hears accounts - never before heard - from those on-board the Mavi Marmara as well as from key Israeli commandos who stormed the vessel.We learn a great deal more about IHH - the Turkish humanitarian group that organised the voyage - and a lot more about Israel’s preparedness and intelligence.Were the leaders aboard the Mavi Marmara itching for a showdown as the Israeli’s claim or were they simply defending themselves and their vessel from what Turkey described as an act of piracy?Collision Course is an important investigative contribution to our understanding of a black moment in recent history

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Season 2010, Episode 00 Secret Iraq - Awakening
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Secret Iraq - Awakening Three years after the invasion of Iraq the country was in turmoil. Insurgents had mounted a brutal resistance against the allied forces, seeing them as invaders not saviours. At the same time religious groups within the country were waging war against each other. This situation created a major opportunity for Al Qaeda to gain a foothold inside Iraq. In part two of this remarkable series we hear how Sunnis first courted, then turned on Al Qaeda and how the U.S. changed its strategic policy. It's a brutal story filled with violence, intrigue and duplicity, all told by the people at the heart of the struggle. In April 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush made this extraordinary claim."Freedom is taking root in Iraq. The people of Iraq no longer live in fear of being executed and left in mass graves."In fact, nothing could have been further from the truth. In the third year after the invasion Iraqis were not only killing Allied soldiers, they were slaughtering each other in waves of sectarian violence.When General David Petraeus took command of the American forces he was shocked to see the state of the country."The day after I took command I went out to several areas in Baghdad. It was frankly much worse than I thought it would be. These areas were wastelands."General Petraeus had every reason to be concerned. Shia Moslem members of the police force formed death squads waging war on their Sunni countrymen. In response, Sunni forces had forged an alliance with Al Qaeda in several key locations. Those places effectively became no-go areas that could be used as bases for terror attacks on the Allied forces.At the same time the U.S. Forces were in trouble. In the north, opposition to the British presence in the south was also getting out of hand. The police force there had been corrupted and the militias too were conducting a reign of terror on anyone they did not like.Part two of 'Secret Iraq' tells how the United States was forced to change

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Season 2010, Episode 00 Dick Smith's Population Puzzle

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Aug 11, 2010
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Dick Smith's Population Puzzle Aug 11, 2010 The six-month project by the entrepreneur tackles an issue that he claims is largely ignored by politicians and greedy businesses: population growth. But it’s not just the number of people living in Australia that’s of concern, it’s the associated messiness that comes with unplanned growth, such as housing, healthcare, environmental issues, food and water, natural resources, border control, immigration and well, you get the picture. ''Politicians love the idea of more taxpayers and Treasury estimates that half of our economic growth is just based on having more people. There's been a blind acceptance that Australia can keep growing forever,” says Simon Nasht, the maker of the documentary.Still, he claims that the documentary isn’t meant to be alarmist, or encouraging any kind of anti-refugee discourse in the country.''We don't seem to be able to talk about immigration without getting sidetracked into a discussion about refugees, which is so tiny in the scheme of things as to be irrelevant,” says Nasht.The Sydney Morning Herald writes that 277,700 migrants (or 64%) contributed to Australia’s population increase of 432,600 last December. The rest were due to births. But less than 10 per cent of that increase was due to newly-settled refugees.In fact, in the documentary, Smith argues that the intake of refugees should increase, and that the number of other immigrants should decrease.The film follows Smith as he follows rich folks and places the looming issue of population growth on the plate. And though Smith also contributed less than 10 per cent to the $500,000 documentary (he actually wanted to pay for the whole thing!), the ABC claims it had editorial control over the project.

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Season 2010, Episode 00 Secret Iraq - Insurgency
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Secret Iraq - Insurgency The invasion of Iraq began in March 2003. The President of the United States, George W. Bush, claimed he wanted to remove a dictator who is armed with weapons of mass destruction, and liberate a people. Instead the invasion provoked a bloody insurgency resulting in the death of thousands of civilians, massive troop casualties, and at the same time laying the ground-work for the arrival of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Made for Quicksilver productions by producer Sam Collyns, the series tells the story of Iraq not simply from the point of view of the invaders but from the insurgents who fought them. It tells how fundamental strategic mistakes made by the Americans pushed formerly peaceful Iraqis into the arms of the fanatical Al Qaeda."Time in Abu Ghraib (prison) helped recruit the insurgency ... even people who had not fought the Americans before their arrest vowed to die fighting them after their time in prison."In the opening episode of "Secret Iraq", the insurgents reveal how their treatment at the hands of the allied troops instilled a hatred of Westerners and in turn sparked their rebellion. Many have never spoken before."I'm like any Iraqi who wanted to defend his honour, his family and his home."A key C.I.A. operative explains how the decision to use private security contractors, instead of soldiers or police, also created massive problems for the Coalition:"Their goal was to protect some guy in an armoured car. And they made a lot of bad enemies because of the way they behaved."Other Iraqis explain how the decision to purge the military and police forces of anyone seen to be connected with Saddam and his Ba'athist Party allowed those same institutions to be taken over by murderous Shia militia, who set up death-squads prepared to kill anyone they did not accept."If you like they were police officers by day and terrorists or insurgents by night."But the Americans were not the only commanders making major policy errors. The program als

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Season 2010, Episode 10 Four Corners - Heart Of Darkness
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Four Corners - Heart Of Darkness The Democractic Republic of Congo is the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman. It's a place where rape has become a weapon of war. Now a BBC film crew follows Judith Wanga as she meets the survivors of the conflict. She talks to women, children, and child soldiers who've been forced to kill so that they themselves will not be killed. To her horror, she discovers that the violence is fuelled, in part, by the need to mine the minerals that go into the manufacture of mobile phones and laptops.

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Season 2010, Episode 10 Foreign Correspondent: Dirty Secrets

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Oct 25, 2010
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Foreign Correspondent: Dirty Secrets Oct 25, 2010

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Season 2010, Episode 10 Stephen Fry Live at the Sydney Opera House

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Oct 2, 2010
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Stephen Fry Live at the Sydney Opera House Oct 2, 2010 A great English icon visited an Aussie one when Stephen Fry came to the Sydney Opera House to discuss travel, language, the three W's, Wilde, Waugh and Wodehouse.

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Season 2010, Episode 10 Four Corners - Return to the Rainbow Warrior
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Four Corners - Return to the Rainbow Warrior It's easy to understand why French agents would want to sink the Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior. They wanted to stop it sailing with a flotilla of boats to disrupt French nuclear testing in the Pacific. But who planned and authorised the attack, and how many agents were really involved? Twenty five years on, TV New Zealand's Sunday program looks at the events of 1985 with fresh eyes. They talk to the man who led the raid, the man who delivered the bomb materials and the French Prime Minister of the time.

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Season 2010, Episode 10 I, Spry
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I, Spry The story of ASIO's first master spy, Charles Spry, and his secret war against a cunning enemy that appeared to be everywhere, from the highest office in the land to within the spy agency itself.

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Season 2010, Episode 10 Four Corners: Oxy, The Hidden Epidemic

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Sep 22, 2010
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Four Corners: Oxy, The Hidden Epidemic Sep 22, 2010

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Season 2010, Episode 10 Whatever Happened to Brenda Hean?

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Feb 19, 2010
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Whatever Happened to Brenda Hean? Feb 19, 2010 Part detective story, part confession, part black comedy, Whatever Happened To Brenda Hean is a rare work of investigation that will keep you guessing until the very last moment. From the award-winning makers of Wildness comes a story of murder and political intrigue; a mystery so intertwined with the environment that it is a parable for our times.In 1972, environmental activist Brenda Hean’s Tiger Moth plane disappeared while en route to Canberra, where she planned to petition the prime minister to save Tasmania’s wild and beautiful Lake Pedder from inundation by a massive hydroelectricity scheme.The battle for the lake was lost, neither the plane nor its passengers were ever found and, despite evidence suggesting sabotage, a public enquiry was never conducted. It spawned a legion of conspiracy theories that refused to die. Decades later, documentary filmmaker Scott Millwood offered a $100,000 reward for information that would lead to an answer to the mystery. On a journey through his homeland, we join conservationists, journalists, pilots, clairvoyants and eyewitnesses in uncovering the story of a woman whose environmental values still resonate. Yet what begins as a search for truth becomes a poetic reverie into landscape, uncovering the heart of darkness of Tasmania, while offering the possibility of reconciliation with our environment. Accident or foul play, conspiracy or misadventure, whatever happened to Brenda Hean?http://antidotefilms.com.au/details.php?filmid=4299

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Season 2010, Episode 10 The Great Escape China's Long March

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Oct 13, 2010
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The Great Escape China's Long March Oct 13, 2010

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Season 2010, Episode 10 The Oldest Living Tasmanian: The Huon Pine

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Aug 16, 2010
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The Oldest Living Tasmanian: The Huon Pine Aug 16, 2010 The story of Australia's most prized tree, the Huon Pine, and the many worlds that surround it. Over 3000 years ago, before the birth of Christianity, a seedling took root in the dark leech-ridden forests of Tasmania.Today, that seedling is an almost fully grown member of one of the world's longest living species - the Huon Pine. Its rare wood is favoured by artists and fine furniture makers, and its lightness, strength and close grain make it the "holy rail" of boat-building.Yet the real story of the Huon Pine is of the role it played in the development of this island outpost on the edge of the world and the early "piners" it enticed into the pristine wilderness in search of its valuable timber.

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Season 2010, Episode 10 Lake Eyre - Australia's Outback Wonder

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Jan 4, 2010
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Lake Eyre - Australia's Outback Wonder Jan 4, 2010 A stunning documentary capturing a once-in-a-generation event - the flooding of Lake Eyre, and the dramatic transformation of the dead heart of Australia. ABC News mounted two filming expeditions by helicopter to follow the floodwaters from north Queensland down the great outback rivers to Lake Eyre and to record the amazing cycle of life, as the deserts bloomed and birds descended from far and wide to capitalise on the short-lived boom. Seldom has there been such an extensive coverage of one of nature’s greatest displays, with water running between the sand dunes of the Simpson Desert; huge bird breeding events; an astonishing show of wildflowers and the surreal images of Lake Eyre as water streams to the lowest point in the continent.It’s a story told through the eyes of one of Australia’s leading environmental scientists, Professor Richard Kingsford and the people who’ve made their lives in the arid Lake Eyre Basin.When the lake floods, spirits lift and the celebrations begin: the cattle are rounded up for a rodeo; Brophy’s legendary boxing troupe comes to town; and it’s all capped off by a huge attendance at the most famous bush race meeting of all, the Birdsville Cup.All too quickly, the water begins to evaporate in Lake Eyre and the harsh desert climate starts to reassert itself. Reporter Paul Lockyer, producer Ben Hawke and camera operator, Erik Havnen, agreed that it was one of the most rewarding assignments they had ever undertaken.

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Season 2010, Episode 20 Foreign Correspondent - Terror - Go - Round
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Foreign Correspondent - Terror - Go - Round In a prison within a prison in central Java, some of Indonesia’s most dedicated and destructive terrorists are doing time for deadly crime.

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Season 2010, Episode 20 The Most Secret Place on Earth: The CIA's Covert War On Laos

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Feb 3, 2010
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The Most Secret Place on Earth: The CIA's Covert War On Laos Feb 3, 2010 The Vietnam War was the most intensely televised war ever. However, next door in neighboring Laos the longest and largest air war in human history was underway and made Laos the most bombed country on the planet without notice of the outside world. It was the largest operation ever conducted by the CIA, yet to this day it remains utterly obscure. Critics call it the biggest war crime of the Vietnam War era and point to striking similarities of the present conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan that were tested and set in motion back in Laos in the 1960s. In The most secret place on earth key players of the secret war – former CIA agents, US pilots, Laotian fighters and war reporters – take us on a journey into the physical heart of the conflict: Top secret Long Cheng, where the CIA built their headquarters in 1962. From here the secret war was largely planned and executed. As the war dragged on, Long Cheng became the busiest airbase in the world and a major center for the global opium and heroin trade.

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Season 2010, Episode 20 Anatomy of a Massacre

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May 29, 2010
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Anatomy of a Massacre May 29, 2010 Anatomy of a Massacre follows an Australian led forensic investigation to find the missing protestors from the 1991 Santa Cruz Massacre in Dili, East Timor. Director Andrew Sully joins expert forensic teams from Australia and Argentina as they exhume the mass graves of an estimated 200 people, who were shot and killed during a peaceful independence march in East Timor. Images of the massacre made global headlines and were instrumental in forcing the world to recognise the plight of the East Timorese and their fight to gain independence from Indonesia. The findings of the forensic team shed light on one of the most infamous mass murders of the 20th century.

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