What hidden meanings lurk behind the messages and media we’re exposed to every day?
Hidden meanings. Disinformation. Conspiracies.
Questioning the truth surrounding what we encounter feels like a 21st Century obsession. But Roland Barthes was asking the same questions in the 1950s and his seminal book Mythologies tried to expose mistruths in popular culture.
Historian Richard Clay takes the Barthes approach and applies it to modern phenomena such as money, Wi-fi and the Madonna in this thought-provoking documentary.
Watch 21st Century Mythologies and more acclaimed documentaries on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*.
More documentaries you might like...
Subscribe to BBC Select for hundreds of hours of thought – provoking, award – winning and critically – acclaimed documentaries from the BBC and beyond.
A Black and White Killing
A murder that shook America to its core. What’s behind alleged racist killings in the U.S.?
Conspiracy Files: Vaccine Wars
Anti vaxxers are blamed for dangerous surges in diseases. What do they really believe?
The Black American Fight for Freedom
America. The land of the free? Or a racist system built on inequality?
Fake News: A True History
Fake news isn’t new: an entertaining look at 200 years of lies and the media
Grayson Perry's Big American Roadtrip
Britain’s most unpredictable artist, Grayson Perry, sits America down for its portrait.
Germany's New Nazis
The new Far Reich? Inside the rise of white supremacy in Germany.
The Romantic Revolution
Wild visionaries and imaginative truth seekers whose radical ideas still resonate today.
Racism: A History
Where did the notion of racism come from and how did such an abhorrent idea develop?
Shock of The Nude
Peek behind the fig leaf to find the truth behind the nude in art.
Greek Myths: True Stories
Godlike genius. Exploring the inspiration of our Greek myths.
The Last Igloo
Can one man survive in the wilderness using traditional methods to hunt and find shelter?
Eat To Live Forever With Giles Coren
Starve yourself older? Go Stone Age for Old Age? Can these extreme diets extend your life?
Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best?
What is the best approach for parents to take when their child is facing gender dysphoria?
Me, My Selfie and I
Know thy selfie: We’re so obsessed with how we look, are we forgetting who we are?
Gender fluid generation: Meet the people challenging the binary.
Secrets of Silicon Valley
What happened to Silicon Valley’s glittering promise to build a better world?
Grayson Perry: Rites of Passage
Our traditions don’t help us. Artist Grayson Perry is on a quest to design ones that do.
Grayson Perry: All Man
As a ‘lifelong cissy’ artist, Grayson Perry has spent his whole life messing with machismo.
Mark Zuckerberg: Inside Facebook
The early days of a social-network phenomenon – Mark Zuckerberg: Inside Facebook
The Super-Rich and Us
How did the super-rich become super-rich, and what effect does their wealth have on us?
Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness
Can the thoughts and ideas of history’s greatest thinkers help in our day to day lives?
Bacchus Uncovered: Ancient God of Ecstasy
What does Bacchus, the ancient god of wine and excess, have in common with Jesus Christ?
Mars Uncovered: Ancient God of War
What can the ancient, immortal, Roman god Mars teach us about warfare in the modern age?
Venus Uncovered: Ancient Goddess of Love
Forget everything you thought you knew about the frequently nude, love goddess Venus.
Meat: A Threat To Our Planet?
Is our love of eating meat swiftly destroying the planet? What can we do to fix it?
Are You Scared Yet, Human?
Should we worry about the effect that Artificial Intelligence could have on our lives?
Hyper Evolution: Rise Of The Robots
In the near future, will we be controlling robots or will the robots be controlling us?
Australia on Fire: Climate Emergency
Are the recent apocalyptic bushfires in Australia a vision of a climate change future?
Inside The EU: The Mad World of Brexit
Go behind the scenes of the European Parliament during the tumultuous time of Brexit.
Grayson Perry's Art Club
Artist Grayson Perry releases a torrent of quarantine-creativity in his lockdown art club.
The Anti-Vax Conspiracy
Who is behind the international anti-Covid-vaccine movement and why are they doing it?
History of Mother Earth: Gaia Uncovered
In space, you can hear the Earth scream... History of Mother Earth: Gaia Uncovered