Dispatches Documentaries

Investigative Journalism Still Exists And Is Growing Day By Day

"News stories that go behind the headlines" –Dispatches Official Website

Dispatches: Beneath The Veil

Produced and Directed by Cassian Harrison

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49 Minutes

"It's the ordinary Afghan people that suffer the most...I asked these children how many of their parents have been killed out by the Taliban. Seven out of ten of their parents are killed by the Taliban."

An anonymous woman, covered from head to toe in a blue burka, is dragged across a football pitch and shot in front of 30,000 spectators. This haunting image of Taliban justice was filmed secretly in Channel 4's award-winning documentary Beneath the Veil broadcast in June 2001. The woman was Zarmina, 35-year-old mother of seven. In a new Dispatches film, Lifting the Veil, Carla Garapedian went to Afghanistan to discover her story and see whether women's lives have improved since the fall of the Taliban.

After a secret trial, Zarmina was jailed with her six-month-old twins. They were confined to one room for three years. She confessed that her husband, Alozai, had discovered she had committed adultery saying: 'He said, "Tomorrow I will go to the Taliban and they will stone you to death." That night I was afraid. I hit him over the head with a mallet.'

Money could have saved Zarmina's life. The final Supreme Court ruling stated that her life would have been spared if she paid 10,000 dirhams ($8,000 dollars) to her seven children for the loss of their father. But she had no money.

Under Taliban law, Zarmina was judged by her own children. Children often participated in Taliban justice and witnessed executions. Alozai's brother brought the couple's children to court. Zarmina's mother says: 'They were always beating the children to say their mother had killed.' (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: Beslan

Produced by Eamonn Matthews & Kevin Sim

beslan

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49 Minutes

"Trapped now inside the school were over 1200 people, mostly women and children, some no more than babies. Their only hope of survival was that somehow someone would strike a bargain between the ruthless men who would seize them and an uncompromising Russian state."

The school siege at Beslan was the bloodiest act of terrorism ever to take place on Russian soil. Yet beyond this horrible truth remain many unanswered questions. There is no agreement on who the terrorists were. How many they numbered? Where they came from? How they got to Beslan? What they wanted? Whether they were all killed or captured? And just how the siege which began on September 1 2004, ended so catastrophically?

This Dispatches special uses testimony from eyewitnesses, survivors and security services. This is combined with video and audio archive footage presents the fullest account of what happened at Beslan.

The film examines the background to the events of Beslan. It also looks at the Russian state’s reaction to the atrocity and the motivation of the hostage-takers. Beslan School Siege also documents how a small town is coming to terms with the loss of its children. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: Binwars

Produced and Directed by Edward Jarvis & Joanna Burce

binwars

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48 Minutes

"Rubbish rage has hit Britain as people discover their weekly bin collections have been cut back to forth nightly. Bin wars are set to escalate. The latest weapon: pay as you throw announced by the government today. Every time you put out your bin, you pay to have your rubbish collected."

Dispatches investigates whether the nation's anger over fortnightly collections is justified, examining why the changes have been brought about and why they have resulted in a level of protest reminiscent of the petrol crisis of 2001.

Is the reduction in service necessary to improve our recycling rates as the government has claimed? Or are we facing a new threat to our health with mounting piles of rotting rubbish?

Using scientific analysis, this film provides hard facts about the bacteria breeding in our bins and investigates whether fortnightly collections are impacting on vermin populations.

Dispatches travels across the country to meet residents who are so incensed by the reduction in collections and the policing of their rubbish disposal that they are staging a variety of protests, including refusing to pay their council tax.

The film will examine the wider issues surrounding the disposal of rubbish including what happens to recyclable waste recycling rates in the UK and the reliance on landfill sites to deal with our domestic rubbish. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: Britain's Bad Housing

Produced and Directed by Janice Finch

badhousing

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49 Minutes

"Many of the claims house builders make are false. They say they want to deliver affordable homes, but they don't and they won't. They blame the planning system for the affordability crisis, but that is not true. In fact, I've found part of the blame lies with the house builders themselves."

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Gordon Brown placed housing firmly at the top of the government's agenda, unveiling plans to build three million homes by 2020 - possibly the biggest building programme in Britain for 30 years. But in this edition of Dispatches, reporter Andrew Gilligan investigates the private house builders charged with solving Britain's chronic housing shortage.

Gilligan raises serious concerns about the way in which house-builders currently operate. He exposes the business tactics which are used to manipulate the planning process, questions the quality of houses and shows how public authorities have allowed developers control over housing policy.

Gilligan uncovers the underhand ways in which some developers seek to gain planning permission. He reveals the dirty tricks used by one lobbying company on behalf of a developer in London to influence the local planning committee and discovers cases where developers have made donations to local political parties which control the planning committees - around the same time their applications for profitable developments are being considered.

With housing in three-quarters of the country now too expensive for first-time buyers, Gilligan examines one of the government's key solutions to the astronomical pricing - building more 'affordable' homes. But he discovers that previous attempts to build cheap, good quality homes in the past have failed dismally with prices for flagship schemes inflating by more than three times the original target price. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: Burma's Secret War

Directed by Evan Williams

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49 Minutes

"A village is burnt to the ground, civilians forced to run for their lives, these children were fleeing through the jungle when soldiers hunted them down and murdered them one by one. This is Burma, a country where thugs are hired to assassinate political opponents, where the people elected leader has been locked away for most of the past 16 years by a military dictatorship in which Britain is the second biggest investor."

For most of the past 16 years the truly elected leader of Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been held under house arrest by a brutal military dictatorship that suppresses all opposition through a policy of rape, forced labour and systematic killings. This is a country unique in failing all five crucial tests by which the UN measures human rights, yet until now the world has all but ignored.  Finally, the UN Security Council is beginning to debate how to deal with this renegade nation, in which Britain is the second biggest investor.

Journalist Evan Williams goes undercover for Dispatches deep inside Burma on a highly dangerous journey to witness new levels of violence by the regime against its own people.  Evan documents atrocities committed against the Karen people, and follows up by illegally entering Burma again - this time as a tourist.  He meets dissidents willing to sacrifice their freedom so that people on the outside should know what is going on.  Despite Aung San Suu Kyi’s plea for an end to foreign investment in Burma, Evan discovers that – thanks to the tax loophole of a British Protectorate – Britain remains the second biggest investor in this systematically brutal dictatorship. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
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Dispatches: Chechnya - The Dirty War

Directed by Mariusz Pilis & Marcin Mamon

chechyna

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49 Minutes

"The military conflict in Chechnya has now been dragging on for more than ten years. During this war Moscow has tried every means possible to prevent it being reported in the press. And so all contacts with members of Chechen resistance are considered illegal. According to the latest report to the human rights organization Human Rights Watch, in 2004 1,700 disappeared in the republic without trace, and illegal killings became commonplace."

Reporters Mariusz Pilis and Marcin Mamon travel to neighbouring Chechnya, one of the most dangerous places on earth, to report on what life is like after more than a decade of Chechen terrorism and Russian repression. Filmed over the course of nine months, the film reveals that what started as a separatist movement in 1994 has now become synonymous with terrorism. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: The Data Theft Scandal

Produced and Directed by Mike Radford

datatheft

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48 Minutes

"We reveal how easy it is in India to buy credit card numbers and security codes of British customers and in Britain we discover how criminals are infiltrating call centers"

In a 12-month undercover investigation, Sue Turton infiltrates criminal networks which trade British consumers' bank and other confidential information for huge profits in India, the world's new call centre capital.

Uncovering the methods used to thieve confidential data ranging from credit card numbers to passport details, Turton exposes the alarming security failures in a number of commercial call centres which allow detailed financial data on individuals to be gathered and sold on with ease. She discovers shocking data protection breaches and a new phenomenon known as 'data farming' – the unauthorised 'harvesting' of personal data to be sold on or exchanged for profit.

This investigation also reveals the scale of some of the call centre scams as Turton is offered hundreds of thousands of 'hot leads', full banking and financial profiles, to purchase.

In the UK, she meets a former data thief and people who have fallen victim to this international trade. She also shows her undercover footage and findings to a UK data protection lawyer who is appalled, saying: "You couldn't scare me more. This is as bad as it gets. This is evidence of serious criminal offences." (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: The Death Squads

Reported by Deborah Davies

deathsquads

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45 Minutes

"Every day in Iraq, up to a hundred mutilated bodies are found. They are not killed by Sunni insurgents, they're mostly killed by Shia death squads who are ethnically cleansing Baghdad in a systematic campaign. Many of the killed are actually police man, behind them, senior religious and political figures stand accused. Those accused of supporting this daily carnage are the same people America has put in power to shape the future of Iraq."

The torture and slaughter of Iraqi civilians is reaching unprecedented heights with estimates of up to 655,000 dead.

Night after night death squads rampage through Iraq's main cities. In Baghdad, up to a hundred bodies a day are dumped on the streets. Often they've been tortured with electric drills. Yet those doing the killing have little to do with al Qaeda or Sunni insurgents. The majority of the killings are carried out by Shia death squads who want to turn Iraq into a Shia state aligned to Iran.

This shocking film investigates the links between the death squads and high-ranking Shia politicians. It reveals how the Shia militia that these politicians control have systematically infiltrated and taken over police units and even entire government ministeries. It investigates how these units are closely linked to the death squads, indeed they often are the death squads. And the killers act with impunity - there's little investigation into their activities. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: The Dyslexia Myth

Directed by Janet Taylor

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50 Minutes

"Professor Valentino found that while dyslexic children do make more mistakes than their peers, they do not make more mistakes than younger children reading at the same level."

Dispatches exposes the myths and misconceptions that surround a condition said to affect 10 per cent of the population. The Dyslexia Myth argues that the common understanding of dyslexia is not only false but makes it more difficult to provide the reading help that hundreds of thousands of children desperately need.

Drawing on years of intensive academic research on both sides of the Atlantic, Dispatches challenges the existence of dyslexia as a separate condition; but in doing so, reveals the scale and pain of true reading disability. The programme examines the chasm between evidence and educational practice and shows that, after hundreds of millions of pounds of investment in the teaching of reading, the number of children encountering serious problems has hardly changed. (Excerpt from main website)

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Dispatches: The Drug Trial That Went Wrong

Produced and Directed by Karen Edwards

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55 Minutes

"In March 2006, eight young men came here to Northwick Park Hospital in the London suburbs to take part in a trial of an experimental drug known only as TGN-1412. Six received the drug in a unit run by a private research company, within hours, all were critically ill."

For five months Brian Deer has followed the personal story of Ryan Wilson, who nearly died in the trial. When Ryan was brought out of a two-and-a-half week coma he was told he had suffered irreparable damage to his hands and feet during his fight for life. With exclusive access to the 20-year-old trainee plumber, Dispatches captures the events of that day and the impact it has had on Ryan and those closest to him.

His mother Marion Flanagan said: "He had swollen up something dreadful, his whole body, he looked very, very bad; I literally thought my son was not going to pull through." But Ryan is philosophical about his position: "You can cry about things and I'm not acting like no big hard man, cos I'm not yeah, I'm far from it, but when you're dealt a blow like this you either get up, and get on with it... or you just sit around and mope."

Deer is also with Ryan and his family as he returns to hospital to have his toes surgically removed. The Government's medicines watchdog said that the incident was the result of "an unpredicted biological action" but Deer digs deeper.

He obtains confidential papers relating to the development of the drug, the way the trial was conducted and the initial treatment Ryan received. He travels to Germany and the US to track down and confront those responsible for the trial. He pieces together an understanding of what went wrong and asks, as the search for new drugs moves away from chemistry towards biotechnology, whether what happened to Ryan Wilson is a warning for us all? (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: Fighting The Taliban

Directed by Mariusz Pilis & Marcin Mamon

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48 Minutes

"The story of the battle of Garmser, the six day battle the Ministry of Defense didn't want you to see. A battle that raises questions about Britain's war on terror in Afghanistan."

Fighting The Taliban is the exclusive first-hand account of one of the longest battles fought by British soldiers in Afghanistan.

When John Reid dispatched British forces to Helmand province on a "peace keeping" mission he expected them to achieve their goals "without firing a shot". Dispatches reveals how the war on terror is really being fought on the ground, and assesses the formidable scale of the task facing British troops in Afghanistan.

Ignoring Ministry of Defence orders, filmmaker Sean Langan hitches a ride with the Afghan army who, along with British soldiers, are on a mission to retake the strategically critical town of Garmser in Helmand province.

The assault is expected to take 24 hours but it soon runs into difficulty, leading to six days of relentless attacks and counter attacks, captured from start to finish by Langan. The front line was often less than 100 yards from the compound where the 17 British troopers established their forward base and the ferocity of fighting saw the British officers call in a record number of NATO air strikes. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: The Great Green Smokescreen

Produced and Directed by Mike Radford

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48 Minutes

"How many of the schemes that deal with our carbon footprint are just hot air."

Days after Live Earth partied for the planet, Dispatches reveals how attempts to buy our way out of climate crisis may not be delivering. Channel 4 News' Science Correspondent Tom Clarke dissects the many 'solutions' to global warming - from carbon off-setting to green energy tariffs.

Jetting off on holidays and mini-breaks - we're increasingly turning to off-setting to alleviate our environmental guilt. It's a boom industry, with dozens of new companies springing up each year to offset everything from weddings to babies' nappies.

The UK's biggest players have a collective turn-over in excess of £2m. And now big business is in on the act with Barclays, HSBC and Sky off-setting themselves and Dell and BP selling offsets to their customers.

But are offsets really the answer in the fight against global warming? Clarke investigates a number of projects - from tree-planting in the UK to pig manure in Mexico - all of which are supposed to cancel out our carbon footprint. But do these projects stand up to scrutiny?

So what else should consumers consider? Green energy tariffs look appealing, but research commissioned for Dispatches shows they often don't make a watt of difference. Carbon labelling is being talked up a storm, but scientists tell Dispatches that labelling may not be a credible reality for some time to come.

One way of making a difference, Clark discovers, might be to take direct personal action to lower our own carbon emissions. But given the small amount of savings each of us can make as individuals, is that any more than a token gesture? (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: Iraq - The Reckoning

Directed by James Brabazon

iraqthereckoning

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48 Minutes

"But the real Iraq is not on the road to a Democracy. Itís not in the slightest bit interested in becoming a Westernized liberal unitary state."

Peter Oborne, political editor of the Spectator, reports on the West's exit strategy for Iraq. He believes the invasion of Iraq is proving to be the greatest foreign policy failure since Munich. Oborne argues that the plan to transform Iraq into a unified liberal democracy, a beacon of hope in the Middle East, is pure fantasy. Reporting on location with US troops in Sadr City, and through interviews with leading figures in Britain and the US, Oborne argues that the coalition and its forces on the ground are increasingly irrelevant in determining the future of Iraq - a future that's unlikely to be either unified, liberal or democratic.

The film includes interviews with Richard Perle, Peter Galbraith, Deputy Chief of Army staff General Jack Keane. Oborne also interviews Rory Stewart, who worked as a deputy governor in Nasyriah and witnessed first hand the rise of the pro-Iranian fundamentalist parties that are now at the heart of the Iraqi government. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: Iraq - The Women's Story

Produced and Directed by Fiona Campbell

iraqwomensstory

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48 Minutes

"What else have they done besides makes houses fall, destroy families, make little children orphans."

The invasion of Iraq heralded promises of freedom from tyranny and equal rights for the women of Iraq. But three years on, the reality of everyday life for women inside Iraq is a different story.

To make this film, two Iraqi women risk their lives to spend three months travelling all over the country with a camera to record the lives and experiences of women they meet.

Dispatches: Iraq: The Women's Story provides a compelling account of a life inside Iraq that is rarely seen on news bulletins: stories of ordinary women whose struggle to survive has only worsened since the war. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: Iraq's Missing Billions

Produced and Directed by Callum Macrae

iraqmissingbillions

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48 Minutes

"[T]he British and American coalition which had overthrown Saddam Hussein was given a very special responsibility by the United Nations. It was given trusteeship of more than 20 billion dollars that belonged to the people of Iraq. Over the next 40 months, it spent almost all of it. Yet, no one can account for where it all went. Literally billion of dollars have gone missing."

In this revealing documentary, Dr. Ali Fadhil, a young Iraqi doctor, sets out to learn what has led to the catastrophic results when money was put into the care of the U.S. led coalition. What emerges is a disturbing tale of corruption and fraud. As word spread of the kind of money that could be made in Iraq, foreign contractors negotiated deals fast and furiously.

There was no oversight of projects. "As trustees, we did a very poor job," admits Frank Willis, a senior member of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). "We should have spent the money on the Iraqi people, rather than putting it in the pockets of foreign business." According to the United States' own figures, Iraq's essential services are worse than before the war, with the country producing less electricity, oil or clean water. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.cbc.ca

Dispatches: The Killing Zone

Directed by Channel4.com

killingzone

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49 Minutes

"Rachel Corrie, American, killed by an Israeli army bulldozer. Tom Hurndall, British, shot in the head by an Israeli army sniper. James Miller, British, shot dead by the Israeli army. If foreigners are dying like this in Gaza, what's happening to the people that live there?"

Palestinian civilians live under the threat of Israeli Defence Force attacks that do not discriminate between militants and children. Israeli setlers live in fear of suicide attacks. But it is not only Palestinians and Israelis who are dying. Since the Gulf war, three Westerners have come under Israeli army attack.

An American peace activist was crushed to death by an IDF bulldozer; a British peace protester was shot in the head by an IDF sniper and remains in a coma; and last weekend, a British cameraman was shot dead by the IDF.

Within hours of arriving Sandra and Rodrigo are shot at and tear-gassed by Israeli troops breaking up a memorial service for Rachel Corrie, an American peace activist crushed by an Israeli Army bulldozer two days before.

That sets the tone for a five-week stay in which they document the shooting by Israeli troops of the British peace campaigner Tom Hurndall, the death of James Miller, the award-winning cameraman who worked extensively for Channel 4, killed as he filmed Israeli troops bulldozing Palestinian homes, and the deaths and mutilation of many innocent Palestinians and Israelis. (Excerpt from website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Return to Africa's Witch Children

Directed by Mags Gavan & Joost Van Der Valk

returntoafricaswitchchildren

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50 Minutes

"One year ago, Dispatches revealed how children in Africa's Niger Delta were being denounced by Christian Pastors as witches and wizards. Many were then murdered, tortured, or made outcasts by their own families all in the name of God."

In 2008 a Bafta and Emmy Award-winning Dispatches told the story of how children in Africa's Niger Delta were being denounced by Christian pastors as witches and wizards and then killed, tortured or abandoned by their own families.

The film, which prompted international outrage against a practice conducted in the name of Jesus, forced the Nigerian authorities and the UN to act.

Child rights legislation came into force making it illegal to brand children as witches and some pastors were arrested. Financial support also poured in to assist a small British charity (Stepping Stones Nigeria) providing the only safe refuge for hundreds of youngsters attacked after claims that they were possessed by the Devil. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: Ryanair Caught Napping

Produced and Directed by Fiona Stourton

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48 Minutes

"Staff asleep on duty, dirty planes, and cabin crew claiming that they were told to fake references."

Ryanair was founded in 1985 by Irish businessman Tony Ryan. It is Europe's largest low-cost carrier, operating 270 low-fare routes to 21 European countries.

Two Dispatches undercover reporters spent five months secretly filming Ryanair's training programme and onboard flights as members of the cabin crew . The reporters reveal what really takes place behind the scenes: inadequate safety and security checks, dirty planes, exhausted cabin crew and pilots complaining about the number of hours they have to fly. And watch Ryanair staff speaking frankly about their experiences and attitudes towards passengers. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: Spinning Terror

Produced and Directed by Dal Richards

spinningterror

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48 Minutes

"When the government fights terror, it should have just one purpose: the safety of the British people. This film will show how Tony Blair has used terror for his own political advantage."

With Britain facing the greatest terrorist threat in our history, the nation trusts the government to devise policies to protect the nation. But Dispatches reporter Peter Oborne reveals that our trust may be misplaced. He presents the case that the government has reacted to the London bombings by rushing through anti-terror policies motivated by the desire to ward off tabloid criticism, gain electoral advantage and make the government look strong. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: Stealing Your Freedom

Produced and Directed by Dimitri Collingridge

stealingyourfreedom

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48 Minutes

"Members of this Labour government once spoke out eloquently for civil liberty. That government is now inacting measures from identity cards to restrictions on free speech that are unprecedented in modern times and itsí leader maintains that these new laws are needed to make us all safer."

Political commentator Peter Hitchens takes a look at how the recent avalanche of security legislation has affected the civil liberties of ordinary people in Britain. The result, Hitchens explains, is that we are sleepwalking into a Big Brother state. Travelling across Britain, Hitchens meets ordinary people who have suffered needlessly because of new legislation and increased police powers. The programme also contains interviews with the Lord Chancellor Charles Falconer, Lord Carlisle, an independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, and Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: Supermarket Secrets

Directed by Michael Brennan

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1 Hour and 40 Minutes

"Supermarkets are now so powerful, they've emerged as these incredible oligopolies who can dictate the price they pay and they've sort of wiped out any other outlets; there are no real whole time markets where farmers can say 'ok, if you're not going to pay me properly, I'll take my food somewhere else' because somewhere else doesn't actually exist anymore."

How and what we eat has radically changed over the past few decades with the all-consuming rise of the supermarket. But what price are we paying for the homogenised, cheap and convenient food that supermarkets specialise in? In a two-part programme, journalist Jane Moore investigates how supermarkets have affected the food on our plates and reveals the tell-tale signs that the food we buy may not have been grown in the way we think.

Using a combination of undercover filming and scientific analysis, Supermarket Secrets investigates whether the food on supermarket shelves is really as good as it looks, whether prices are as good as they seem and what happens behind the scenes in the production of supermarket food. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: Supermarket That's Eating Britain, The

Produced by Louise Turner

tesco

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48 Minutes

"Please don't insult the intelligence of these good people in here by saying that you're interested in being a good neighbor. You are not interested in being a good neighbor. The only thing that your company is interested in is making money. And you don't care what impact you have on the rest of the community or anybody else. So please don't offend our intelligence by pretending otherwise."

Tesco is Britain's favourite supermarket. With 2,000 stores and 15 million customers a week, it's almost twice as big as its nearest rival. Dispatches shows how Tesco could soon become even bigger, and asks if this retail giant is abusing its power.

In The Supermarket That's Eating Britain, Ben Laurance pieces together evidence that reveals the true potential of Tesco's expansion plans. In two thirds of Britain, Tesco is already the dominant supermarket.

Dispatches' information shows how that dominance could become even greater. The programme examines the ways in which Tesco avoids paying tens of millions of pounds in tax by exploiting legal loopholes and using complex networks of companies and partnerships here and overseas.

And Dispatches chronicles the links Tesco has forged with New Labour: the programme examines how Tesco has used its connections to exert influence both at Westminster and with local councillors.

The Supermarket That's Eating Britain hears how: councils feel bullied; MPs complain about being put under pressure; and Tesco uses its financial clout to keep its competitors at bay. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: Undercover Copper

Produced and Directed by Andrew Mullins

undercovercopper

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49 Minutes

"This is a story of police officers not helping you because they can't be bothered. This is the story of sexism at the heart of the police. This is the story of a female police officer who believes her own force doesn't help victims of rape. This is a story of a public institution frustrated by endless paperwork."

Dispatches: Undercover Copper, examines how rape victims are treated at every stage of the criminal justice process. From the initial reporting of a rape to the police, through to the conclusion of the court process, she discovers a postcode lottery of initial forensic and medical care for rape victims and no national standard for the number of specialist trained police officers dealing with sexual violence. With many victims too scared to embark upon the court process, Nina also lays bare the myths and misconceptions about rape held by juries that need to be challenged if more rapists are to end up behind bars. The Government acknowledges the conviction rate for rape is unacceptably low, Mike O’Brien, the Solicitor General tells Nina: "…There are a lot of rapists out there who are getting away with it and many of them are repeat rapists and therefore we need to address that.” But despite recent legislation and new initiatives designed to give victims more say, Nina finds a system that is failing to deliver justice for rape victims. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: Undercover In Tibet

Produced & Directed by Jezza Neumann

undercoverintibet

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48 Minutes

"Life here is incredibly hard. People are suffering from hunger and hardship. They have no jobs and they have no land. The only way they can fill theiy empty stomachs is by stealing."

As Tibetan protesters take to the streets in the biggest and most bloody challenge to Chinese rule in nearly 20 years, Dispatches reports on the hidden reality of life under Chinese occupation after spending three months undercover, deep inside the region. Dozens are feared dead after the recent clashes and crackdown by Chinese troops, but with reporting so rigidly controlled from the region little is known of living conditions inside Tibet.

To make this film, Tibetan exile Tash Despa returns to the homeland he risked his life to escape 11 years ago, to carry out secret filming with award-winning, Bafta-nominated director Jezza Neumann (Dispatches Special: China's Stolen Children). Risking imprisonment and deportation, he uncovers evidence of the "cultural genocide" described by the Dalai Lama.

He finds the nomadic way of life being forcefully wiped out as native Tibetans are stripped of their land and livestock and are being resettled in concrete camps. Tibet reveals the regime of terror which dominates daily life and makes freedom of expression impossible. Tash meets victims of arbitrary arrests, detention, torture and "disappearances" and uncovers evidence of enforced sterilisations on ethnic Tibetan women.

He sees for himself the impact of the enormous military and police presence in the region, and the hunger and hardship being endured by many Tibetans, and hears warnings of the uprising taking place across the provinces now. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the offical website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: Undercover Mosque

Produced and Directed by Andrew Smith

undercovermosque

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48 Minutes

"Allah has created the woman deficient, her intellect is incomplete...by the age of 10 if she doesn't wear hijab, we hit her."

Prime Minister Tony Blair recently described tolerance as 'what makes Britain Britain' but in this extensive investigation Dispatches reveals how a message of hatred and segregation is being spread throughout the UK and examines how it is influenced by the religious establishment of Saudi Arabia.

Dispatches has investigated a number of mosques run by high profile national organisations that claim to be dedicated to moderation and dialogue with other faiths. But an undercover reporter joined worshippers to find a message of religious bigotry and extremism being preached.

He captures chilling sermons in which Saudi-trained preachers proclaim the supremacy of Islam, preach hatred for non-Muslims and for Muslims who do not follow their extreme beliefs - and predict a coming jihad. "An army of Muslims will arise," announces one preacher. Another preacher said British Muslims must "dismantle" British democracy - they must "live like a state within a state" until they are "strong enough to take over."

The investigation reveals Saudi Arabian universities are recruiting young Western Muslims to train them in their extreme theology, then sending them back to the West to spread the word. And the Dispatches reporter discovers that British Muslims can ask for fatwas, religious rulings, direct from the top religious leader in Saudi Arabia, the Grand Mufti. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the offical website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dipatches: Unholy War

Directed by James Millar

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48 Minutes

"Out of 57 Islamic states, 7 impose the death sentence on Muslims who convert to anothe religion. In other Islamic countires, converts have been striped of their civil rights and had their marriages disolved by the states."

Dispatches investigates the violence and intimidation facing Muslims who convert to Christianity in Britain. Dispatches reporter Antony Barnett meets former Muslims who now live under the threat of reprisals from their former communities. Many are still living in fear. He interviews a family who have been driven out of their home and a convert whose brother was beaten close to death.

The investigation uncovers a network of churches supporting converts from Islam who have to worship under a veil of secrecy. It is estimated there are as many as 3,000 Muslims who have converted to Christianity living in Britain.

Converting to another religion for a Muslim is not just considered a taboo act by some believers. Certain Islamic texts demand converts - also known as apostates - be punished severely for deserting their faith. In several Islamic states, the death penalty is imposed. Here in Britain, Dispatches discovers a form of mob justice is taking place on our streets. A concerned Christian bishop tells Dispatches that it may not be long before a British convert is killed, and implores Muslim leaders to take action. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: War On Terror - At Home with the Terror Suspects

Produced by Channel 4

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47 Minutes

"Increasing numbers of British Muslims are now the primary target of control orders. Though originally introduced to deal with foreign terror suspects, there are now around nine UK born controlees. "Mistaken intelligence was used to justify the invasion of Iraq. Next, we ask if intelligence heard in secret should be relied on as a basis for detaining terror suspects."

Having spent years in Belmarsh prison, the detainees now live under partial house arrest on Britain's streets. Officially known by letters of the alphabet; Detainee 'A', Detainee 'AR' etc, little is known of their day-to-day existence.

Dispatches has gained exclusive access to some of these detainees and, for the first time, exposes the paradoxes at the heart of this security policy which restricts the activities of people who have never been convicted of terrorist offences.

The investigation questions the effectiveness of the orders in protecting the public from terrorist attacks. The detainees live under stringent rules that prohibit the possession of mobile phones or accessing the internet. But the regulations allow them to mix freely with other worshippers at their mosques or talk to anyone they meet without prior arrangement. Despite a dossier of restrictions one detainee is allowed to between three tube stations, a bus garage and a shopping centre. "If I wanted to, it would be easy for me to bomb or commit an act of terrorism", he says.

Dispatches reveals the impact the control orders have on these individuals whose restrictions bypass the fundamental rights of due process enshrined in British law - that no-one should be deprived of liberty without a fair and adequate trial. In the film the detainees describe how they suffer from psychological problems and insomnia, with one detainee at the point of considering returning to his mother country, despite the torture that likely awaits him.

Dispatches also investigates the sourcing of evidence used to place the detainees under control orders. Reporter Phil Rees uncovers grave concerns about the methods used and the accuracy and validity of such evidence. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: Women Only Jihad

Produced and Directed by Fiona Stourton

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47 Minutes

"Up to 60 percent of British mosques don't allow women in to pray and like these women, many have to worship in their own homes by themselves. This crucial difference between how men and women pray has come to symbolize everything that's wrong with their community."

A documentary following the dramatic story of MPACUK’s campaign for women’s rights in the mosques.

While women have always worshipped at the holy mosques at Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, around 60% of British Mosques totally exclude women. And only a handful allow women a real say in decision-making. Never before has a Muslim group openly challenged this situation and demanded that the example of the Prophet (PBUH), giving women full access to the mosques, must be followed in 21st Century Britain.

Muslim sisters in MPACUK, supported by our brothers, have been taking this call to mosque leaders and the public – in phone calls and meetings, and with leaflets and petitions. We’ve had mosque doors slammed in our faces and even had eggs thrown at us for simply raising this issue. But we’ve also found huge support from the Muslim public in backing petitions for women’s access to our mosques.

Women’s empowerment within the mosques is an essential strand in MPACUK’s vision for our mosques as grassroots institutions, fulfilling their role as active centres for the whole community – rather than mere prayer halls or men’s clubs. A new generation of young, educated Muslim women is taking up this challenge, and Channel 4’s Dispatches documentary will offer a unique insight into the changing dynamics of our communities. (Excerpt from website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

Dispatches: Young, Nazi, and Proud

Directed by David Modell

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50 Minutes

"Blacks, drug abusers, and gays all have it. So really I've got no problem with AIDS. In fact I would call it a friendly disease."

Dispatches reporter David Modell films a remarkable six months spent in the questionable company of Mark Collett, leader of the youth wing of the British National Party, and reveals the true nature of a party trying to reinvent itself and broaden its appeal.

A rising star of the party, Collet reveals to Modell his deeply held Nazi sympathies. This despite the party's claim it no longer has any association with Nazism.

It's clear why the BNP want intelligent young men like Mark, a university graduate. BNP leader Nick Griffin tells Dispatches that Collett is a potential leader of the party.

But Modell is interested in trying to determine what motivates a bright young man to throw in his lot with a party which will make him reviled in public.

Modell has little in common with his subject and finds himself taking an exception to some of Collett's interests and occupations - which range through rabid anti-Semitism ('Jews aren't white') to explaining how he likes to "break" people, in particular his ex girlfriend. (Excerpt from main website)

Please visit the official website for more information:
http://www.channel4.com

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