Wide Angle: Window into Global History


Drawing upon the powerful film resources of public television's award-winning series of international documentaries, Wide Angle, this collection comprises a range of resources intended as a compelling supplement to existing curricula. Our goal is that these resources will enrich the study of Global History by using contemporary examples as jumping-off points to engage students with historical themes that were as relevant in the past as they are today. We hope these resources help students understand why the study of different countries and cultures matters to their lives and the lives of others.

  • Complications of Identity | Wide Angle

    Brazil’s introduction to affirmative action has greatly impacted the dialogue on race in its society. The implementation of racial quotas has many Brazilian citizens questioning their ethnic backgrounds and their place in the new system. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "Brazil in Black and White," join the discussion on affirmative action and racial identity in Brazilian society.

    Grades: 9-12
  • New Worker Class | Wide Angle

    The economic boom in China has created a class of “gold-collar” workers, business professionals who are high-income earners and live in the country’s developing cities. Take a tour of the upscale apartment of Dwanzhi, one of China’s privileged gold-collar workers, in this video segment from the Wide Angle film film "To Have and Have Not."

    Grades: 9-12
  • Racism in the Media | Wide Angle

    The legislation to expand affirmative action programs in Brazil includes establishing racial quotas for visible roles in Brazilian media. If passed, the advertising and film industries would be mandated to reserve 20 percent of all media roles for Afro-Brazilians. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "Brazil in Black and White," meet Afro-Brazilian Natane Almeida and learn about the challenges she faces in her pursuit of a career as a model.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Martyrdom | Wide Angle

    The conflict in the Middle East often makes headlines and is a complex issue that has confounded the world community. This video segment from the Wide Angle film "Suicide Bombers" goes beyond the headlines and into the mind of a would-be Islamic "martyr" as he explains some of the external and internal struggles of life in Palestine.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Labor Disputes | Wide Angle

    As China continues to benefit from a market economy, labor disputes entering litigation have increased. This video segment from the Wide Angle film "The People's Court" shows the courthouse proceedings of a labor dispute brought by Li Mingna, a car salesman who has filed suit against his former employer for unpaid severance.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Arduous March | Wide Angle

    Communist North Korea employs a food rationing system, a foundation of its planned economy that imposes great hardship on its people. The system caused widespread famine from the mid- to late 1990s, a period commonly known as the Arduous March. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "A State of Mind," learn about the factors that led to the Arduous March and one family’s struggle to survive during this dark period in North Korean history.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Work Abroad | Wide Angle

    The unstable situation in Zimbabwe has forced many of its people to go abroad in search of employment. Many have found themselves across the border in Botswana, desperate in their search for a means to survive. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "Border Jumpers," viewers are introduced to Mary, a college educated Zimbabwean woman who has migrated to Botswana and has found limited opportunities for those with a professional background.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Refugee Camp | Wide Angle: Window into Global History

    The Chechen war created hundreds of thousand of refugees. Fearful to return to the insecurity of their homeland, many Chechens live in refugee camps. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "Greetings from Grozny," learn about Rajap, a young Chechen refugee living in a tent city and the ongoing war that threatens his safety and that of thousands of others.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Industry and Islam | Wide Angle

    Kayseri is a city in the center of Turkey that has recently experienced a wave of business development. Although Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, thought that secular values were the key to his country’s development, the Kayseri Industrial Zone has been the site of great prosperity for a group of devout Muslim businessmen. These entrepreneurs helped establish a network of businesses centering around a 6,000-person mosque. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "Turkey's Tigers," visit the Kayseri Industrial Zone and meet its president, Ahmet Hasyuncu.

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Power of Developers | Wide Angle

    The success of the market economy in China has led to a vast expansion in construction and property development projects across the country. The transition from a socialist legacy of collective ownership of land to a new system that allows for private ownership of property has not come easily, however, and many legal disputes have resulted. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "The People's Court," meet a family who have been pushed off their land and feel betrayed by the promises of property developers.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Political Debate in Turkey | Wide Angle

    Secularists in Turkey are fearful that the ruling Islamic AK party will move the nation away from its secularism and impose Islamic law, resulting in a rise of Islamic fundamentalism. AK supporters feel that the party is compatible with modernity and harsh criticism from secularists has not been justified. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "Turkey's Tigers," enter the debate on the roles and conflicts of secularism and democratic values with Islam in Turkey.  

    Grades: 9-12
  • Winning the Farmers' Trust | Wide Angle

    This video segment from Wide Angle: "The Market Maker" follows Eleni Gabre-Madhins and other Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) market reformers as they attempt to win sesame farmers' trust and get them to deposit their crops in ECX warehouses.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Charlene Barshefsky Interview | Wide Angle

    China’s membership in the World Trade Organization received strong disapproval from those critical of its poor human rights record. However, China was still able to garner support, most notably from the United States. Charlene Barshefsky, U.S. Trade Representative in the Clinton administration, was the chief negotiator propelling China’s entry into the WTO. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "To Have and Have Not," Barshefsky discusses how the people of China may benefit from its inclusion in the WTO.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Suicide Bombing | Wide Angle

    The aftermath of a suicide bombing leaves many unanswered questions, such as what could have stopped this person from taking his life and the lives of others. In this video segment from Wide Angle, radical Islamist Mohanned Abu Tayyoun takes viewers through the events of the day of his planned operation and explains what prevented him from carrying out a suicide bombing.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Women in Parliament | Wide Angle

    Essential to the reconstruction of Rwanda after the genocide of 1994 was the formation of a new government. The women of Rwanda were an integral part of civic life post-genocide and their efforts have been recognized with formidable representation in Parliament. This video segment from the Wide Angle film "Ladies First" provides an overview of the role of women in Rwandan government.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Grozny University | Wide Angle

    The destruction of buildings and institutions is one of the many devastating after-effects of war. Former dean of Grozny University in Chechnya, Dr. Raikom Dadashev, comments on the contributions of the university and gives a tour of the shattered campus in this video segment from the Wide Angle film "Greetings from Grozny."

    Grades: 9-12
  • Brainwashed | Wide Angle

    In this video, excerpted from the Wide Angle film "Crossing Heaven's Border," evolving and enlightened attitudes in South Korea toward once-vilified North Koreans are contrasted with North Korea's ongoing brainwashing of its own citizens through propaganda. The latter is illustrated here by Park Un Suk, a young North Korean who resolutely defends Kim Jong Il's regime as her older sister Park Gum Suk tries, unsuccessfully, to convince her to defect and join her in South Korea.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Modern Muslim Women | Wide Angle

    MBC, the Arabic television station that broadcasts on international satellite, has garnered a hit with the all-female talk show Kalam Nawaem or Sweet Talk. Four women from different backgrounds discuss a range of topics, including subjects once deemed taboo and too controversial for broadcast on Arab media. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "Dishing Democracy," learn about Kalam Nawaem and the four women who are pushing social boundaries in Arab society.

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Rise of Divorce | Wide Angle

    The goal of Kalam Nawaem, an all-female Arabic talk show, is to go beyond the topics generally directed at Arab women, such as fashion and beauty, and discuss matters of more pressing importance, such as divorce. The rise of divorce rates in the Arab world has concerned its women and some are questioning the institution of marriage. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "Dishing Democracy," the hosts of Kalam Nawaem tackle this pressing issue and open a dialogue for Arab women.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Economic Boom | Wide Angle

    Since its entry into the European Union in 1973, the government of Ireland has reformed its policies in an effort to encourage both foreign investment and local entrepreneurship. The result was a transformation that pulled Ireland out of centuries of economic hardship and into a nation that is among one of the richest in the world. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "Mixed Blessings," learn about Ireland’s economic rebirth from Jonathan Walsh, a general manager for Intel, an American company that has established its connection to Europe through its facilities in Shannon, Ireland.

    Grades: 9-12

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