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TV and radio

Robin Buss's pick of the week

Climbing Cold Mountain

C4 Tuesday, May 25, 10.45am-12noon

This new one-off follows director Anthony Minghella through the making of Cold Mountain, from his first reading of the book to writing the script, casting, location hunting, scene-building, shooting, editing and previewing, down to the premieres. Minghella tells us he was not keen on the idea of a Civil War movie, but he warmed to this story and, with Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger in the leading roles, set about filming it in the US and Romania. One thing that emerges above all from this absorbing documentary is the amount of co-operative effort that goes into the making of a few metres of celluloid. The target audience (14 to 19-year-old English or media studies students) will come away with a clear idea of the processes that go into the creation of a film and perhaps with an increased respect for the final product.

Nazi Germany20th Century World20th Century Wrap BBC2 Friday, May 28, 2-6am

Three series on modern European history, for recording overnight. "Nazi Germany" for 14 to 16-year-olds, is two hours of ranting and strutting.

Topics include: the reasons for Hitler's success in the context of Weimar Germany; what life was like for ordinary citizens under the Third Reich; how young people were organised to support the regime; and the opposition to Nazi rule. From 4am, we turn to "20th Century Britain", starting with a five-parter for 13 to 14-year-olds on the effects of the two world wars, the place of women, technology, and poverty. "20th Century Wrap" studies changes in British society in the 50s - all rock'n'roll and Angry Young Men.

People with Magic Grandad. BBC2 Fridays, May 21 and 28, 10.45-11am

Louis Braille and Samuel Pepys are Grandad's famous people for May: today, the children go back in time to meet Louis Braille at his school in Paris; next Friday, they hear Samuel Pepys talk about the Great Fire, in a series of brief biographies for five to seven-year-olds. Braille has not yet made it to the website, find out more about Pepys at schoolsfamouspeople

Flesh and Blood. BBC1 Friday, May 21, 12.30-1pm

Truancy is the subject of the last part of this family life strand, which has been running every day this week. The film follows two of the 300,000 persistent truants in Britain: a 15-year-old orphan who now lives with his uncle, and a 12-year-old whose mother faces prison unless her daughter's school attendance improves.

Just Poetry. BBC Radio 4 Tuesday, May 25, 3.15-3.25am

This series continues with classic and modern poetry from different cultures. Designed as a comprehensive resource for seven to 11-year-olds, it has readings of comparable or contrasting poems, with sound effects and music. The aim is to develop an awareness of poetic language and form, and stimulating children to write their own poetry. Programmes for Years 34 and 56 are available on two tapes (pound;2.15 each), as well as four teachers' activity books (pound;13.99 each) from BBC Customer Services Tel: 0870 830 8000

Full listings can be found at:


* learningmainprogrammestv_schedule.htm

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