In 1959 Britain's biggest cinema company, the Rank Organisation, decided to replace its newsreels with a series of short, quirky, topical documentaries that examined all aspects of life in Britain. For the next ten years, Look at Life chronicled the changing face of British society, industry and culture, all on high-grade 35mm colour film. Britain on Film draws upon the 500 films in this unique archive to offer illuminating and often surprising insights into what became a pivotal decade in modern British history. This episode looks at the films that recorded one of the great boom industries of the 1960s, the leisure industry.
Documentary charting the trials of three British men who have volunteered to fight Islamic State militants in Syria alongside Kurdish peshmergas. Cameras follow 22-year-old former IT worker Jac, 28-year-old ex-currency trader Harry and 40-year-old veteran soldier and peace activist Jim as they face the dangerous and brutal realities of `amateur' fighting on the frontlines. Known collectively as the `Lions of Rojava', the men took part in a major operation to clear out militants occupying territory as far afield as the Abdul Aziz mountain range in north-east Syria, during which time they discovered a major IS bomb factory and barracks, and raided a bombed-out IS headquarters. The programme also explores why these Englishmen were drawn to a conflict that is so far removed from their homeland, providing an insight into the greater sense of purpose they find in battling alongside the YPG Kurdish militia than remaining at home in England.