In the Northern Hemisphere, March is the harbinger of spring; south of the equator, though, watch out! Autumn is on the way. Whatever the weather, it’s always time to enjoy a good documentary. Kick your feet up, settle back, and take a gander at one of MagellanTV’s fine films. Here are some highlights and a complete list of new releases.
The Quiet Boy: The Story of the Griekwastad Farm Murders – Coming March 2
Join an investigation into a gruesome attack that left a family murdered by their own guns, with a young son the attacker. On his 18th birthday, local media was allowed to identify the teenager dubbed the "Griekwastad killer." One paper printed a photo of Don Steenkamp sitting in court. Above the story, the headline read, ‘This is the boy who raped his sister and killed his parents.’
The boy (16 at the time of the murders) dismissed his legal team shortly before judgment. He claimed it was due to "insurmountable differences." He then took to the stand and maintained his innocence throughout the trial – despite the state prosecutor pointing out several discrepancies between his version of events and evidence collected from the scene.
What caused this unthinkable sequence of events? Steenkamp was known to have had a fierce argument with his sister in the days prior to the attacks. And, in the days after, he had asked someone how much he would inherit. Follow the facts – and the accused’s wild claims – in this gripping, dramatic account of one family’s final, terrifying minutes.
Also, check out "I Shot my Parents" - Available Now!
An Honest Liar: James 'The Amazing' Randi – Coming March 9
An Honest Liar is about the magician, escape artist, and world-renowned enemy of deception, James “The Amazing” Randi. Randi, whose birth name was Randall James Zwinge, was interested in magic and illusion from an early age. He sought to replicate – and even improve upon – the famed tricks performed by master magician Harry Houdini. Over time, Randi turned his attention to charlatans who used deception to perform “faith healing” and demonstrations of “psychic powers.”
The documentary brings to life Randi’s investigations, which included co-founding an organization of skeptics dedicated to countering claims of psychic ability. One target was Uri Geller, who purported to be able to bend metal utensils with his mind and describe drawings sealed in envelopes. Randi exposed Geller as a fraud who used stage magic tricks to achieve his feats.
Yet Randi was a trickster himself, even presenting a sham "guru" who made many of the same claims Randi enjoyed debunking. This guru, called Carlos, was, in fact, Randi’s partner of 25 years, José Alvarez, who had some secrets of his own. An Honest Liar culminates in a surprising discovery made during the production of the film. How will Randi deal with the fallout from the film’s exposé? Will he be able to survive the revelation? And was he actually deceived, or did he play a part in the deception? View this documentary to witness this shocking disclosure and its aftermath.
Also, check out "Urban Legends" - Available Now!
Raiders of the Lost Art 4K – Coming March 16
Art can be unbelievably valuable, and thus eyed by people looking to acquire pieces of artwork by nefarious means. This series views investigations of notable art thefts through the eyes of detectives and forensics analysts tasked with locating missing masterpieces. Each episode focuses on one infamous theft or related mystery, using archival footage and reenactments to illustrate how the piece disappeared and, in many cases, was recovered.
Follow many glorious works of fine art confiscated by the Nazis during WWII, ostensibly to honor the Führer; Fabergé eggs misplaced or stolen during the Russian Revolution of 1917; the unbelievable absconding of Leonardo’s masterpiece – the Mona Lisa – in 1911; the loss of Edvard Munch’s The Scream; and many more.
This series is irresistible to lovers of both notable art and true crime. Watch art experts deal with the loss of unique works by masters and geniuses, and the means they use to confront criminals. It’s must-see viewing for aficionados of great art – and crafty crooks.
Also, check out "Secret Life of Mona Lisa" - Available Now!
Solar Odyssey – Coming March 23
Will we one day be able to approach the Sun, a star whose coolest zone is around 3,500°C, and whose heart is burning at more than 15 million degrees? Let’s hop aboard two space missions that will try to get closer to the Sun than ever before: the Parker Solar Probe and the Solar Orbiter. How did these daunting missions come to see the light of day? And what can they teach us?
Join an unprecedented journey into space to learn more about the Sun, the heavenly body with the most direct impact on the Earth’s environment. Composed primarily of hydrogen and helium, our galaxy’s star is a literal hotbed of activity. Its sunspots and solar flares affect Earth’s atmosphere and magnetosphere with ejections of energy. Solar flares emit X-rays and magnetic fields that bombard the Earth as geomagnetic storms.
Both the solar probe and the solar orbiter will get closer to the Sun than any man-made craft in history. Join scientists as they prepare to receive groundbreaking new information that will revolutionize the way we view the Sun and its activities. We may even be able to predict solar activity such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, paving the way for safer space travel within the Milky Way.
Also, check out "Space: The New Frontier" - Available Now!
Colosseum: The Whole Story – Coming March 30
Rome is among the most famous cities in the world. Each year, millions of tourists visit the Vatican, the heart of the Catholic faith, and admire Rome’s ancient ruins. But it is the Colosseum that is perhaps their favorite stop. It is the iconic soul of the Roman Empire, where heroes were made and broken. This documentary features experts who explain how 2,000 years of human drama have left their mark on the stones, bricks, and mortars of this magnificent arena.
Scientists and engineers are interviewed as they carefully restore the Colosseum thanks to a controversial public-private partnership involving the Italian fashion house, Tod’s. As layers of grime are washed away, and restorers make crucial repairs, intriguing new hidden details are coming to light.
This in-depth two-part series explores ancient history and unveils the innovative new renovation techniques being used to restore Roman arenas to their former glory. Revealing interviews examine the science and engineering behind the Colosseum's construction as well as the controversial plans to use it as an event space. Shot in HD in three different arenas, with unique reenactments of gladiatorial combat, this film is a work of art.
Also, check out "I, Caesar: Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire" - Available Now!