A mixed bunch of disturbing and challenging political programming awaits this week.
Highlights of this weeks selections include part two of the documentary on Cuba's interventions in Africa, an undercover study of major resourcing problems in UK maternity wards and an original study of a unique town with unique socio-economic problems that the casual observer may mistakenly believe to be a winter paradise...
Mon 30 April - 8-9pm - Channel 4 - Dispatches: The Indian Miracle?
This documentary considers the rather less well-known side-effects of India's burgeoning economy such as mass-suicide by debt-ridden farmers and the development of an even more elitist caste system.
Tue 1 May - 7.15-8pm - Channel 5 - Big Ideas That Changed the World - Nationalism
In the last of this strand, David Blunkett examines the history of nationalism and argues that the left's distrust of the concept has led to increased racism and insecurity. He actually, and somewhat bizarrely, proposes that a revival of nationalism would cure many societal problems.
Tue 1 May - 10.30-11.30pm - BBC4 - Cuba! Africa! Revolution! - 2/2
This is the conclusion of the Storyville telling of Cuban interventions in Africa from the 1960's onwards and the response of the United States.
Pick of the Week :rb:
Wed 2 May - 10.30-11.35pm - More4 - Travels With My Camera
Pick of the week for its interest and obscurity value, this documentary is a study of the hometown of Santa Claus - North Pole, Alaska. The working and cultural values of Christmas dominate this town as an economic necessity and it seems that the children are particularly aggrieved. From the age of 11, their curriculum demands they spend lessons answering children's letters to Santa. Documentary maker Jon Ronson observes "It is like a sweatshop for elves." The coup de grace is the alarming discovery of the plot by six 13 -year- olds to shoot their classmates in a massacre reminiscent of Colombine. Pretty chilling.
Thu 3 May - 8-9pm - BBC1 - Midwives Undercover
In this Panorama special, a reporter working undercover as a volunteer in two maternity wards in two different hospitals, reports that understaffing and lack of resources are affecting patient care.
Thu 3 May - 9-10.30pm - Channel 4 - The Lie of the Land
This feature-length documentary is highly critical of the negative role played by both Government and supermarkets in the development of food production policies and practice. One aspect of this economic and social madness is the killing of perfectly healthy young calves that farmers cannot afford to keep.