Politics documentaries

Stream a range of BBC documentaries that explore global politics and that provide expert analysis and insights from those close to the story. From accounts of the 20th century's pivotal political events to biographies of modern political figures, BBC Select brings you documentaries about the politics that shape our world.

Thatcher & Reagan

Stream Thatcher and Reagan on BBC Select

Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher helped to create the ‘special relationship’ between the UK and the USA. Despite differing personalities, they forged a very close bond. But what lay behind their mutual attraction?

In this fascinating Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan documentary, biographer Charles Moore uses eyewitnesses and secret papers to get under the skin of the Thatcher and Reagan dynamic.

How did the relationship between the UK’s ‘Iron Lady’ and America’s avuncular, charismatic President develop? In this captivating Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher documentary, official biographer Charles Moore investigates a friendship which altered the course of world history. Was it ideology, personality or something else that cemented their burgeoning alliance? Did the close ties between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan accelerate the end of the Cold War and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union? This fascinating BBC history documentary looks at the triumphs, and conflicts, between the two world leaders. How did this very special relationship shape the world as we see it today?

Kissinger: Statesman or War Criminal?

Stream Kissinger: Statesman or War Criminal? on BBC Select

BBC Select gets political as this incisive documentary offers a sobering portrait of Henry Kissinger, quite possibly the most powerful US diplomat during the latter half of the 20th Century.

Revealing the true character of this complex man, this eye-opening political documentary presents Kissinger’s responses to criticisms of his controversial foreign policy decisions.

Should Kissinger be celebrated or castigated?

Turkey: The Rise of Erdogan's Empire

Turkey: Rise of Erdogans Empire

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has grown into a political giant, reshaping Turkey more than any leader in recent times. This fascinating political documentary charts his rise from humble roots to a powerful, controversial ruler. How did he reach such heady heights, what methods has he used to quell dissent, what controversies have dogged his regime and how far is he willing to go to hang onto power?

EP 1: Rise To Power
The early political life of Erdogan including imprisonment and a remarkable comeback.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is one of the most powerful rulers in Turkish history. But where did he come from? This fascinating documentary charts his rise from the popular mayor of Istanbul to a period in prison and banishment from political life. He soon reversed this ban and became a pioneering Prime Minister. But after 10 years of rule, a massive protest movement threatened to topple his government.

Ep 2: Facing Dissent
Erdogan cracks down hard on dissent, becoming the most powerful leader of modern Turkey.

After a decade in office Erdogan, once a popular ruler in Turkey, now faced a massive protest movement, coupled with a corruption scandal. This compelling political documentary looks at how Erdogan quashed dissent and consolidated his power, eventually becoming President. But soon a violent coup would put his life in danger. How would Erdogan survive this latest attempt to oust him from office?

Inside Taiwan: Standing Up To China

Inside Taiwan: Standing Up To China

This eye-opening BBC documentary explores whether China’s plans for Taiwan could be put into action, and the dangers they could pose for the world. President Xi Jinping considers Taiwan part of China and seeks reunification, while the island nation maintains its independence.

With tensions rising, journalist Jane Corbin visits the region and speaks to experts from around the world about a situation that has the potential to spark a deadly global conflict. She also explores how Taiwan has been standing up to what they say are Chinese disinformation and cyber attacks in recent times.

Charles R: The Making of a Monarch

Charles R: The Making of a Monarch

This is the story of how a prince became a king. A revealing portrait of King Charles told almost solely in his own words and featuring a wealth of material, some of which has never been seen before. This intimate documentary journeys from cradle to crown, revealing emotional family moments with the Queen, his marriage break-up and private passions. A picture of the true Charles emerges.