Storyville

The WORST episodes of Storyville

Every episode of Storyville ever, ranked from worst to best by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The worst episodes of Storyville!

Series showcasing the best in international documentaries on BBC Four. Storyville has developed an enviable reputation since its inception more than a decade ago. Screening over 340 films, from some 70 different countries, the strand has garnered a staggering array of awards: five Oscars, 15 Griersons, three Peabodys and two International Emmys. In true, unique, Storyville style, the new series promises to deliver the strand's usual eclectic mix of compelling stories from across the globe.

Last Updated: 11/24/2022Network:BBC Four
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This Is Palestine
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#1 - This Is Palestine

Season 2002 - Episode 13 - Aired 5/2/2002

The international documentary strand features Azza El-Hassan's film portrayal of her neighbourhood of Ramallah, a town under fire in the current Middle East conflict. With the threat of violence severely limiting locals' activities, filming becomes the main event, especially for a group of children.

My Sperm-Donor Dad
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#2 - My Sperm-Donor Dad

Season 2002 - Episode 5 - Aired 3/21/2002

Barry Stevens believes he has hundreds of half brothers and sisters because his parents were one of the early beneficiaries of artificial insemination. Half a century on, Stevens tries to trace his biological father.

Down from the Mountain
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#3 - Down from the Mountain

Season 2002 - Episode 6 - Aired 3/28/2002

A documentary, directed by DA Pennebaker, Nick Doob and Chris Hegedus, and facilitated by film-makers the Coen brothers, of a reunion of some of the greatest names in bluegrass music at the Ryman theatre in Nashville. The stars featured include Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss. John Hartford and Ralph Stanley.

More Sex Please, We're Scandinavian
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#4 - More Sex Please, We're Scandinavian

Season 2002 - Episode 7 - Aired 3/30/2002

Scandinavia has the reputation of being a land of beautiful natural blondes and midnight sex romps. This film, by Torben Skødt Jensen and Ghita Beckendorff, charts the history of attitudes to sex and reveals the reality to be somewhat more complicated.

Town Bloody Hall
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#5 - Town Bloody Hall

Season 2002 - Episode 8 - Aired 4/4/2002

Documentary makers DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus's film record of a raucous debate on "women's liberation" that took place in New York's City Hall in 1971, between novelist Norman Mailer, critic Diana Trilling and three members of the Women's Movement - Germaine Greer, Jill Johnston and Jacqueline Ceballos.

Startup.com
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#6 - Startup.com

Season 2002 - Episode 9 - Aired 4/18/2002

Concluding the series of films by acclaimed documentary film-makers DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus , this award-winning film follows two internet entrepreneurs, fresh from high school, over the course of a year as they struggle to set up a profitable website.

A Cry from the Grave
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#7 - A Cry from the Grave

Season 2002 - Episode 10 - Aired 4/19/2002

Storyville Documentary dealing with the 1995 massacre of over 7,000 men from the area of Srebrenica by troops of the Bosnian Serb army.

Much Ado about Something
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#8 - Much Ado about Something

Season 2002 - Episode 11 - Aired 4/23/2002

The strand celebrates William Shakespeare's birthday with a film by Michael Rubbo which examines the authenticity of his work. To what extent was the Bard's contemporary Christopher Marlowe the inspiration behind his work, or was he - as some have suggested - the hidden hand behind it?

Who Is Bernard Tapie?
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#9 - Who Is Bernard Tapie?

Season 2002 - Episode 12 - Aired 4/25/2002

The international documentary strand showcases a film by American director Marina Zenovich which attempts to find out the real identity of French polymath Bernard Tapie , whose extraordinary life has included stints as a singer, actor, politician, businessman, author, football team owner and convict.

Chain Camera
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#10 - Chain Camera

Season 2002 - Episode 4 - Aired 3/14/2002

Eight camcorders were given out to students in Los Angeles. They filmed their lives for a week and then passed the camera on to someone else. The project lasted for a year and the resulting film describes what teenage life is like in a multi-ethnic environment on the west coast of America in the year 2000.

The Settlers
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#11 - The Settlers

Season 2002 - Episode 14 - Aired 5/3/2002

Naomi Horowitz and her six children are one of seven Jewish families to settle in Tel Rumeida, a community in the heart of Palestinian self-rule territory. Ruth Walk's film looks at why they feel they belong there, their devout religious observance and their efforts to ignore their Arab neighbours.

Pie In the Sky
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#12 - Pie In the Sky

Season 2002 - Episode 15 - Aired 5/6/2002

Brigid Berlin had a comfortable uptown upbringing that her mother hoped would end in her becoming a respectable socialite. Instead, she found cult recognition as an acolyte of Andy Warhol, appearing nude in many photographs and Warhol films. Vincent Fremont and Shelly Dunn Fremont's film shows how, at 60, the outrageous star's life now revolves around her twin obsessions of slimming and housekeeping.

Nico Icon
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#13 - Nico Icon

Season 2002 - Episode 16 - Aired 5/6/2002

Best known for her appearance in Fellini's La Dolce Vita and her singing with the Velvet Underground, Nico was nevertheless a troubled soul whose iconic beauty was offset by a self-destructive urge and an inability to reconcile herself with life. Susanne Ofteringer's film charts Nico's life, from her birth in postwar Germany to her heroin-ravaged death.

Ajax
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#14 - Ajax

Season 2002 - Episode 17 - Aired 5/14/2002

Ajax is by far the most successful Dutch football club, noted for an attractive approach and winners of 27 national championships and 25 international competitions. But the 1999-2000 season was not a happy one. This film is a behind-the-scenes look at how a high-profile football club, celebrating its centenary year, survives in a modern sport where money rules and business comes first.

Gods of Brazil
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#15 - Gods of Brazil

Season 2002 - Episode 18 - Aired 5/17/2002

Brazilian football suffered a dark day on 16 July 1950: the national team lost the World Cup final at home in front of 175,000 fans. But it heralded the dawn of a golden age made possible by two players, Pele and Garrincha. This documentary tells the story of these two football legends.

Picasso Days
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#16 - Picasso Days

Season 2002 - Episode 19 - Aired 5/19/2002

Based on the Spanish artist's diaries, sketches and paintings, Pierre Philippe's film for the international documentary strand charts 13 days in the life of Pablo Picasso. Events include the death of a friend, his marriage, the birth of his daughter Maya, the bombing of Guernica and the death of Joseph Stalin.

The Gugulethu Seven
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#17 - The Gugulethu Seven

Season 2002 - Episode 20 - Aired 5/23/2002

In March 1986 seven young men were gunned down by the South African police, who were insistent that the shooting was legitimate. Lindy Wilson's film follows the inquiry by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into the facts behind the events.

Meeting My Daughter
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#18 - Meeting My Daughter

Season 2002 - Episode 21 - Aired 5/30/2002

The international documentary strand presents Thomas Heurlin's film following the fractious relationship between a father and the daughter he did not meet until she was ten years old - from their initial encounter to the revelation that she was now pregnant.

Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst
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#19 - Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst

Season 2005 - Episode 101 - Aired 9/12/2005

In 1974, a teenage newspaper heiress and Berkeley undergrad was kidnapped at gunpoint from her apartment, setting off one of the most bizarre episodes in recent American history. The kidnappers, completely off the map before Patty Hearst disappeared into the San Francisco night, were a small band of young, ferociously militant political radicals, dedicated to the rights of prisoners and the working class. They called themselves the Symbionese Liberation Army. Over the course of about three years they robbed banks, senselessly killed two innocent people, instigated a firefight after attempting to shoplift a pair of socks, and, most famously, converted their hostage and victim. They also achieved an undeniable visionary manipulation of the media, inciting perhaps the first modern media frenzy.

Directors: Robert Stone
OJ: Made in America (4)
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#20 - OJ: Made in America (4)

Season 2017 - Episode 12 - Aired 5/17/2017

In January 1995, the crime of the century gave way to the trial of the century. It would be like nothing before it, nor anything that's come since, and reshape the landscape of the media, and, truly, American culture along the way. Over the better part of ten months, there would be dozens of dramatic twists and turns, revelations and surprises, accusations and betrayals. The recollections of so many of the case's protagonists make for section after section of riveting film, all bringing back to life a trial that somehow evolved into a phenomenon that left the brutal murders of two people deep in forgotten shadows. Nothing, though, proved larger than the context - of everything that came before in the Los Angeles that OJ Simpson never knew. And in the trial's closing arguments, the dividing line of race - in Los Angeles, and America - was never starker.

Directors: Ezra Edelman
OJ: Made in America (5)
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#21 - OJ: Made in America (5)

Season 2017 - Episode 13 - Aired 5/18/2017

On the morning of October 3rd 1995, it was announced that OJ Simpson had been found not guilty of all charges. To many Americans, it was a stunning, almost explicable miscarriage of justice; a tragedy; a disturbing example of what money and power could buy in America. But to another group, it was an historic victory - payback for all the losses and all the injustice that they'd incurred over generations of history. As black America rejoiced, OJ went home, beginning what would become the strange, next phase of his life, a life lived in a form of celebratory purgatory - in many quarters shunned, scorned, and mocked, but in others, welcomed as a character in the circus that his saga had undeniably helped to create. From running from a guilty verdict in a wrongful death suit to working on a book that was a 'hypothetical conviction', his existence became more and more outlandish, until it all came crashing down on a night in 2007 in Las Vegas, a night that left Simpson where he is today, in prison for perhaps the rest of his life.

Directors: Ezra Edelman
Oink: Man Loves Pig
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#22 - Oink: Man Loves Pig

Season 2017 - Episode 15 - Aired 7/2/2017

Oink explores man's relationship to pigs, diving headfirst into a beguiling mix of sentimentality and violence - from keeping pigs in your bed to factory farming. The documentary veers wildly from the birth of Dorothy, our saddleback narrator, to zeno-transplantation of organs, from Ralph Steadman cartoons for Animal Farm to wild hogs being machine-gunned from a helicopter. Oink is a mad, bad journey from China to Wiltshire via Brooklyn, which reflects on who we are and how we deal with the world around us.

This Was My Dad: The Rise and Fall of Geoffrey Matthews
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#23 - This Was My Dad: The Rise and Fall of Geoffrey Matthews

Season 2017 - Episode 16 - Aired 7/10/2017

A profoundly intimate documentary filmed by Bafta-winning director Morgan Matthews over a period of more than ten years in the life of Morgan's father Geoff and his wonderfully eccentric partner Anna. In an attempt to reconnect with his dad after becoming estranged, Morgan uses the camera as both a facilitator and a filter that enables him to stay close during challenging times. The film follows Geoff and Anna through a financial crisis that sees them losing their home, it captures the challenges of their relationship, and documents the decline in Geoff's health as a result of emphysema and cancer. With the warmth, love and humour that is so often mixed up in family dramas, this is a documentary made from the inside by a film-maker who is used to turning his camera towards other people's families - but never his own. The result is deeply personal, but the themes of a challenging paternal dynamic, a relationship under pressure, and death in the family, are widespread and universal.

The Great European Cigarette Mystery
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#24 - The Great European Cigarette Mystery

Season 2017 - Episode 17 - Aired 7/17/2017

The former EU commissioner of health, Mr John Dalli, recently left his post having been accused of being in the pocket of 'big tobacco'. Two Danish journalists, Mads Brugger and Mikael Bertelsen, travel to Malta expecting to uncover proof of a vast conspiracy against Mr Dalli, when a secret source steps forward, claiming to possess documents and recordings. Mr Dalli attempts to strike a deal with the source, taking them on a disturbing, thrilling and darkly humorous odyssey from the hallways of Brussels to an island in the Caribbean Sea.

Queerama
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#25 - Queerama

Season 2017 - Episode 19 - Aired 7/31/2017

Created from a treasure trove of archive, Queerama traverses a century of gay experiences, encompassing persecution and prosecution, injustice, love and desire, identity, secrets, forbidden encounters, sexual liberation and pride. The soundtrack weaves the lyrics and music of John Grant, Goldfrapp and Hercules & Love Affair with the images and guides us intimately into the relationships, desires, fears and expressions of gay men and women in the 20th century- a century of incredible change.

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