Tag Archives: DW Documentaries

Analysis: How NATO Will Defend The Baltic States

DW Documentary (May 28, 2023) – NATO members are viewing Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine with grave concern, especially those on the alliance’s eastern flank. They’re joining forces with German troops right on the Russian border.

Germany is the leading or “framework nation” in what is called the NATO Battle Group Lithuania. With its alliance partners, German forces are serving “on the front line” – right on the Russian border. They’re guarding NATO’s northeast flank against any possible incursion and ensuring the Baltic states are supported during times of crisis and, if necessary, conflict.

In the spring of 2023, Germany’s military is in Rukla and Pabrade, among other places, for maneuvers. There it is practicing with NATO partners from Croatia, the Czechia and the Netherlands to handle a Russian attack on the Baltic states. In full agreement with the NATO motto “train as you fight,” practice and training are closely-oriented to a genuine threat.

The leader of the German contingent, Colonel Wolfgang Schmidt, points out the special historic significance and perceived peril in the Baltic. He says, “From historical experience, of course the perception of possible aggression – be it Russian or Belarusian – is far more intense here than in the Federal Republic of Germany.” He adds that not everyone has grasped the defense of “all that we stand for – modernity, freedom of opinion and speech and everything we describe as Western values begins here.” For a year, Schmidt says, the Ukraine has been fighting far more than their Russian attackers – they’re defending “our freedom,” too. This report follows a major exercise called “Griffin Lightning.” A platoon commander with the Dutch Armed Forces emphasizes the importance of maneuvers and cooperation among the multinational forces.

First Lieutenant Bent S. says, “We’re taking part in different exercises. Last week we were with the Norwegians. In a few weeks, the whole Battle Group will come together and we’ll train again with the Norwegians, Germans, Czechs and Croats. Nobody wants war, but if it really comes to it, we’ll be ready.” This documentary provides an exclusive look at NATO maneuvers in Lithuania, which are unfolding closer than ever before to a genuine military threat.

#documentary #dwdocumentary #nato


Sri Lanka Views: The Rise Of Women ‘Tuk-Tuk’ Drivers

DW Documentary (May 25, 2023) – Amidst the traffic chaos of Sri Lanka: the popular auto-rickshaws, or tuk-tuks. They’re traditionally driven by men. But increasingly, you’ll see a woman at the wheel – and this film is about three of them: Anulawathi, Thushari and Jega. Anulawathi, Thushari and Jega all do the same job: they’re auto rickshaw drivers in Sri Lanka, three women in a sector traditionally dominated by men.

Besides being a popular mode of transport, the three-wheeled tuk-tuk also provides these three women with a reliable source of income. All three were left by their husbands and had to find a way to feed themselves and their children. They were forced to challenge societal norms. After all, in Sri Lanka, men are traditioanally seen as the providers. Male tuk-tuk drivers view their female colleagues as rivals. But unsurprisingly, female customers love them. Thushari lives in the capital Colombo. She is a longtime parent and works to support herself and her two daughters.

Anuwalathi works in Kandy. She lived abroad for a few years and saved up enough money to buy her own tuk-tuk. Jega is also a single parent. She lives with her son and niece in the tourist resort of Hikkaduwa. All three women earn a steady income from the tuk-tuk business, which brings them closer to their eventual goal – independence and freedom.

Ecosystems: Biodiversity In The British Isles (2023)

DW Documentary (May 19, 2023) – Human pollution is increasing worldwide. The overexploitation of nature is endangering biodiversity and plastics and chemicals are destroying many of humanity’s nature-based livelihoods.

But there is hope. The UK is not exactly known for its stringent environmental policy and following Brexit, many fear that standards are likely to deteriorate. But the UK is also home to coastal regions and islands characterized by wild beauty — and breathtaking diversity. The documentary takes us through some of the most remote landscapes of the country, from the Shetland Islands to Cornwall, the Hebrides and many other areas.

In each location, the film shows the amazing biodiversity of fauna and flora present. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in Wales is known for large breeding colonies of many seabird species. Few people live on the Hebrides, located off Scotland. These wild islands are still a natural paradise of rocks, sand and moor. As such, they are biotopes for exotic species such as puffins and guillemots.

In this cinematic journey to the most beautiful natural sites in Britain, viewers meet the people who are trying to protect species threatened by extinction by preserving their habitats. It is a story of hope, one that indicates that a change in people’s thinking is taking place.

Middle East Ecosystems: Can The Dead Sea Be Saved?

DW Documentary (May 1, 2023) – The Dead Sea, shared by Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians, is drying up. The salt lake, famous for its exceptional geographical location and its healing properties, is the deepest of its kind on earth.

The drying up of the Dead Sea is causing widespread damage, from huge sinkholes to abandoned beaches and collapsed roads. This is not an act of nature. It is the result of overconsumption and poor water management. If something is not done soon, very little of the Dead Sea will remain. In a region marked by ongoing conflict, natural resources are being depleted. To save the Dead Sea, surrounding countries must work together.

Three individuals — a Jordanian, an Israeli and a Palestinian — feel they can’t just sit idly by. They decide to draw the world’s attention to the problem with a heroic act. In an unprecedented and extremely dangerous undertaking, the three decide to swim across the Dead Sea, from Jordan to Israel, to highlight the plight of the dying waters.

Documentaries: What Causes ‘Monster Waves’?

DW Documentary (April 30, 2023) – Statistically, a large ship is lost in the world’s oceans almost once every seven days. One reason for this: monster waves that appear to come from nowhere. Unlike tsunamis, they are completely unpredictable. That means there’s no way to issue any kind of warning.

Scientists still know astonishingly little about these freak waves. For centuries, many people dismissed them as the stuff of legend. The first scientific proof of their existence didn’t come until 1995. A laser on the Draupner oil rig in the North Sea measured a wave almost 26 meters high. Wave models in use at the time deemed this to be an impossibility.

But the data, captured by chance, changed the course of research forever. Scientists have focused on three theories in their bid to explain the emergence of freak waves. The first is the current model: currents flowing in opposite directions reduce the length of the waves, pushing them together to create a monster surge. But freak waves are also a phenomenon in regions where currents aren’t particularly strong.

That’s why researchers came up with a second theory: superposition. In this linear process, faster, longer waves catch up with short, slower waves. They overlap and form monster waves. But in some places, freak waves occur with a frequency that can’t be explained by this linear theory, either.

For several years now, scientists have been considering a third possibility: when non-linear wave trains are unstable, they can develop into monster waves through a highly complex energy “theft”. Research is divided over whether it’s the linear or non-linear effects that form freak waves out at sea – a question that’s crucial for shipping!

Travel & History: The Sindh Region Of Pakistan (DW)

DW Documentary (April 28, 2023) – Pakistan’s Sindh region is one of the cradles of human civilization. It’s seen as the homeland of the Indus Valley Civilization, an advanced Bronze Age civilization. But the events of 1947 brought drastic change to the cultural landscape of the Sindh.

The 1947 partition of the Indian subcontinent into India and Pakistan was devastating for those living in the Sindh region. Most were Hindus and fled to India, as the area was completely assigned to Pakistan. Many Muslims from India then resettled in Sindh and changed the face of this region, whose cultural heritage had been formed over centuries.

Suddenly, the Hindus who remained found themselves in the minority. Many members of the Sindhi community are now scattered across the globe. They’re making every effort to preserve the old stories and traditions and are proud of their legacy as descendants of one of the oldest human civilizations.

Documentary: Inequality & Abundance In Namibia

DW Documentary (April 7, 2023) – When it comes to the chasm between rich and poor, few nations on Earth can compare with Namibia. Seventy percent of the country’s territory is owned by just six percent of the population.

The wounds inflicted during the German colonial era still run deep. Namibia’s colonial past is a violent one. Attempts by the indigenous Nama and Herero people to oppose the ambitions of German colonial rulers were brutally crushed. A genocide of the Nama and Herero was carried out between 1904 and 1908 and only officially recognized as such by the German government in 2021.

These terrible events continue to affect Namibian society to this day: While many of the victims’ descendants live on illegal settlements in constant fear of eviction, the white descendants of German colonialists still own most of the land and believe it is rightfully theirs. Most of Namibia’s vast natural resources are owned or controlled by foreigners.

The diamond industry is dominated by the international DeBeers consortium headquartered in London, UK. The construction and uranium industries are controlled by the Chinese; this is because Beijing continues to prop up the ruling SWAPO party, widely seen as corrupt. Documents leaked in 2021 revealed that North Korea was illegally subcontracted to build the country’s State House. Most of the country is sparsely populated, enabling nature to flourish.

Namibia is (still) home to one to one of the greatest wildlife populations in the world, including the only free roaming black rhinos. But an upswing in poaching by Chinese crime syndicates is threatening to destroy decades of conservation work, while global warming exacerbates desertification, threatening indigenous communities.

Pangolins: The World’s Most Smuggled Animal

DW Documentary (March 25, 2023) – Pangolins, native to Asia and Africa, are threatened with extinction. Their meat is considered a delicacy in Africa and their scales are sold as a health remedy in Asia. The protected animals are poached and smuggled on a large scale.

Pangolins are the most smuggled animals in the world – and demand is growing. Asian pangolins recently made headlines when they were suspected of being carriers of the COVID-19 coronavirus. On the banks of the Congo River, the pangolin sells for just a few euros.

But in cities like Kinshasa, its meat sells for a hundred times that price and – although illegal – is eaten in the best restaurants. Even more profitable is the sale of pangolin scales, which are highly prized in Asia for their supposed medicinal properties. The native Asian pangolins are already nearly extinct.

The film shows how just a handful of these animals can be rescued during police raids, then reintroduced into the wild by dedicated conservationists. From hunters in the bush of the Democratic Republic of Congo to bushmeat markets to the backrooms of Vietnam, reporters follow pangolin smugglers as they ply their trade.

Culture: A Nomadic Life In The Gobi Desert, Mongolia

DW Documentary (February 25, 2023) – Otgo is the youngest child of a nomadic family in the Gobi desert. They make their living breeding cattle. Otgo loves their life, in harmony with nature and old traditions. Yet she dreams of becoming a dancer at the opera house in Ulan Bator.

In Mongolia, it is becoming increasingly common for the younger generation to leave traditional life behind. Otgo’s dream would take her far from her family’s yurt. She wants to become a dancer and later, a dance teacher. Her parents leave it up to her to decide how she wants to shape her life. They agree to support her, if she embarks on her great endeavor. In the meantime, Otgo has become an almost indispensable help to the family.

She gets up early in the morning to water the camels with her father, and it fills her with pride that she can help her family. The breathtaking landscape of the Gobi Desert and the strong bonds between the different nomadic families do not make it easy for Otgo to follow her dream. Otgo’s story paints a portrait of her world and of the men and women who have long passed on their culture from generation to generation, through the eyes of a child.

Taiwan Views: Democracy And The Digital World

DW Documentary (January 20, 2023) – For Taiwanese Minister of Digital Affairs Audrey Tang, democracy is itself a technology. This film shines a light on Taiwan’s political history, as well as the country’s contemporary experience of democracy. Taiwan deployed innovative technologies in the battle against Covid-19.

Minister of Digital Affairs Audrey Tang worked with the tech community and civil society to successfully stem the spread of the virus. This was partly due to citizens’ direct involvement in the solving of political problems. Taiwan is rethinking democracy. Digital applications and new technologies are having a democratizing impact.

A look back at Taiwan’s recent history makes it clear how the World Wide Web plays a crucial role in the fight for democracy. The documentary also focuses on Taiwan’s desire for national sovereignty and civil rights. It also considers the threat posed by China, which views the democratic island of Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic and is pursuing plans to annex the territory.