Global Affairs Documentaries

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BBC Select has a range of compelling documentaries focusing on the latest global issues and social issues that matter to us all. Stream shows from BBC News and leading documentary filmmakers and get the inside story on politics, influential world leaders, regional conflicts and more.

Mariupol: The People's Story

Image of Ukraine flag colors and buildings in Mariupol

In a little under three months, residents of what was a thriving Ukrainian city witnessed the deaths of women and children in a maternity hospital and bodies left abandoned on the streets. This powerful documentary filmed and told by many of the citizens of Mariupol, records the deaths of thousands and daring escapes by survivors. It’s a story of their loss, bravery, and determination.

This 2023 International Emmy Award, 2022 Peabody, and 2023 IDA Documentary Awards-winning documentary is available to watch on BBC Select.

Putin vs The West

Image of Putin wearing sun glasses reflecting the British and US flags

Throughout the two decades that Vladimir Putin has controlled Russia, global leaders have tried various tactics to keep him in line. Now, as war rages in Ukraine and the world faces one of its greatest tests to peace since the Cold War, this documentary attempts to identify where these leaders went wrong and tries to understand how we have reached this point of no return with Putin.

Hong Kong's Fight for Freedom

Watch Hong Kong's Fight for Freedom on BBC Select

Hong Kong, 2019: Protests against a new extradition bill spiral into some of the worst violence the city has ever seen, as thousands of Hongkongers feel their freedom is under threat and take to the streets.

Using artificial intelligence to protect their identities, this two-part documentary series tells the extraordinary story of the uprising through the eyes of four young people at the heart of the movement.

House of Saud

Stream House of Saud on BBC Select

Can Saudi Arabia, a country at the heart of the escalating Middle East crisis, be a force for good?

Life, Loss and Waiting in Ukraine

Life, Loss and Waiting in Ukraine

The Ukrainian army’s 24th brigade has been fighting Russian forces non-stop since February 2022. Only a handful of those fighting Putin’s troops have been there from the start. Mark Urban has secured unprecedented access to the brigade, meeting the drone operators on the frontline, the wives whose husbands are missing, and those being called up now to fill in behind fallen comrades.