18-year-old Esteban Quispe Churata became world-famous as the “Bolivian Wall-E”. He is a self-taught robot maker who scours municipal dumps and flea markets to recycles e-waste for his inventive creations, many of which are inspired by movies.
Sinaloa isn’t just a state in Mexico; the word has become synonymous with a vicious gang, the CIA says it’s the most powerful drug cartel in the world. Life here is largely dependent on what the gangsters do, and so is death. Superficially the area appears quiet and steeped in quaint Latin charm, but it proved to be one of the most dangerous places an RTD crew has ever filmed.
In Russia, every schoolchild knows the name of Aleksey Maresyev. The legendary WWII fighter pilot’s heroic story was retold in a 1948 book, “The story of a real man”. After his plane was shot down by Nazi fire, he survived in the Russian wilderness for 18 days with broken legs and found his way to safety. Despite losing both legs in hospital, he still convinced doctors and military commanders that he should continue to fly. His example helped many who might otherwise have given up, some handicapped pilots say it inspired them to survive and continue with their careers.
In Russia and the CIS, World War II is known by a different name, the Great Patriotic War. In that conflict more Soviet people died than from any other nation. There were hardly any families in the USSR that had not lost loved ones. Today, the stories of the many who gave their lives in defence of their motherland are retold, using their own letters from the front. They don’t just talk of love, bravery and sacrifice but shed light on the scale of human tragedy suffered during WWII.
Paracale in the Philippines’ is also known as “Goldtown”. RTD visits its illegal goldmines where child labour is rife and health and safety virtually non-existent. To extract gold, miners dive into a mud-filled shaft, sometimes never to come back.
The Giant Panda is China’s national symbol, the only country where it lives in the wild. Human activity and other natural factors have brought this placid animal to near-extinction. Today, the Chinese government takes great care to protect and enlarge the panda population. Its panda breeding and rescue centres provide a safe environment and attract millions of tourists.
In one of the most poverty-stricken slums in Kenya’s capital, elderly women are increasingly preyed upon by young men who believe that raping them can cure HIV. Things are starting to change, however. With the launch of self-defence courses, women are learning physical and psychological techniques to thwart predators, empowering victims to venture outside again.
On April 25, 1945, a historic meeting took place. Soviet troops had been pushing towards the Nazi army from the east, while the Americans attacked from the west. On this day, the allies met at the Elbe River. Now, two veterans of that decisive event meet again in Moscow to remember their victory.
John Jairo Velásquez Vásquez, a.k.a. ‘Popeye’ is something of a local hero to many in the Colombian city of Medellin. He’s stopped in the streets and asked for autographs and selfies. His celebrity is undiminished after spending 23 years in jail. In the heyday of the infamous Medellin drug cartel, he worked for Pablo Escobar as a hit-man, he still says he enjoyed the job in which he tortured and murdered literally hundreds and so, not everyone sees him as a hero.
Over 20 million Americans are prescribed medication for a variety of mental disorders. Even young children are being given pills to treat ‘behavioural problems’. The drugs are intended to help, but many patients say they just don’t work, are dangerously habit forming and have debilitating side effects.
Modern China is a unique mix of cutting-edge technology and centuries-old tradition. It takes pride in its booming economy and rich cultural heritage. In many ways, China owes its complexity and versatility to the Silk Road, an ancient trade route established in the 2nd century BC that for hundreds of years initiated cross-cultural interaction between Eurasian civilisations.
Scott Neeson was a president at 20th Century Fox International and was bent on continuing his career with Sony Pictures. But a trip to Cambodia and what he saw on the Steung Meanchey garbage dump turned his life upside down. Scott returned to Phnom Penh and set up the Cambodian Children’s Fund. Now he supports over 2,000 families by sending kids to school, providing parents with employment, paying hospital bills, and feeding those unable to earn money.
Greater Chongqing is China’s largest municipality and, according to some estimates, the world. Its total area equates to the whole of Austria and it has a population of around 32 million. Why then does the world know so little about this megacity? RTD explores the phenomenon of a rapidly growing metropolis. Discover Chongqing’s three main tourist attractions: its cuisine, magnificent nocturnal skyline, and impressive urban rail system.
These ladies put on bright bouffant skirts and arrange their long hair in neat plaits. Then they go into the ring and beat the hell out of each other! Meet the Bolivian fighting cholitas, the female wrestlers of lucha libre, a free fight that marries a choreographed show with a full-on punching match.
Around 2 million refugees have entered Europe since 2015. One of the countries was the Netherlands. Boasting a liberal culture, Dutch society presented the newcomers with an environment strikingly different from what they were used to. However, despite the challenges, Holland seems to be making the integration work. We travel there to find out how the refugees are adapting to their new realities and who is helping them.
After leaving the Moscow Ballet company to pursue his career in classical ballet, soloist Dmitry Prusakov joins the famous Kremlin Ballet. He now works inside the Kremlin walls, in the very heart of Moscow. This is a dream job for many dancers, but those who get in must prove themselves.