The BBC’s Storyville strand has announced the international documentary films to be shown in the Spring on BBC Two and BBC Four.

Emma Hindley, Lead Commissioning Editor – BBC Storyville, says: “Our Spring season started with BBC Two showing Deborah James – BowelBabe In Her Own Words, a unique portrait of the last 5 years of her life, made entirely from social media and using her own voice notes as narration. Continuing on BBC Four, Storyville takes the viewers on an eclectic and dramatic range of journeys with a diverse and important range of subjects. The extraordinary and enduring love story of Nelly and Nadine; the terrifying and shocking retribution after the 1971 uprising in New York prison in Attica; an unflinching portrayal of growing up with addiction, amidst a love story in Blue Bag Life; access to one of the most closed Hasidic communities in Israel with In The Name Of The Father and the beautiful animation based on audio notes from two women in Kabul as the Taliban re-takes power in Afghanistan with Inside Kabul.”

Nelly and Nadine

(1 x 90) (25 April, 10pm, BBC Four)

A remarkable love story of two women who fell in love with each other in the Ravensbruck concentration camp. One of Nelly’s granddaughters opens up the family archive and discovers the true nature of her grandmother’s sexuality, what happened to Nelly and Nadine and why their love story was hidden by the family.

Directed by Magnus Gertten


(1 x 120) (2 May, 10pm, BBC Four)

In the summer of 1971, tension over the brutal conditions at Attica prison in upstate New York were at an all-time high. On the morning of September 9th, it came to a head as Attica became the stage for one of the largest and bloodiest U.S. prison rebellions. The film recounts in vivid detail, with a huge range of archive, the five-day violent standoff between mostly Black and Latino inmates and law enforcement. Former inmates, guards, government officials and members of the press who were there on the ground describe the appallingly violent events which would take the lives of more than 30 prisoners and 10 hostages.

Directed by Stanley Nelson and Traci Curry

Blue Bag Life

(1 x 90) (9 May, 10pm, BBC Four)

Filmed entirely on her mobile phone, the UK artist and filmmaker, Lisa Selby turns the camera on herself as she tries to understand her relationship with her late mother and her partner who is in prison — both heroin addicts. It leads to an exploration of her own feelings about becoming a mother. Won the audience award at the 2022 London International Film Festival.

Directed by Lisa Selby, Rebecca Lloyd-Evans & Alex Fry

In The Name of The Father

(1 x 90) (16 May, 10pm, BBC Four)

With extraordinary access to and archive footage from one of the most orthodox Hasidic communities based in Israel with a leader based in Brooklyn in the US, this film reveals the scandal that erupted when the Rabbi who established and led the community died. Inheritance battles, violent reprisals, sexual abuse and underage marriages are revealed by those that experienced it.

Directed by Bat-dor Ojalvo

Inside Kabul

(1 x 30) (23 May, 10pm, BBC Four)

When the Taliban returned to power in 2021, the lives and destinies of two young Afghani women, Raha and Marwa, are changed forever. Inside Kabul is an animated film based on the voice notes that Raha and Marwa exchanged in the months that followed. Raha chose to stay in Kabul where she is confronted with the violence of the regime, the sudden change in what ordinary people and especially women are allowed to do as well as the crisis into which the country gradually sinks. Marwa leaves with her husband just in time and finds herself in a refugee camp in Abu Dhabi, waiting and waiting to be welcomed to another country.

Directed by Caroline Gillet and Denis Walgenwitz

(Image: BBC/AutoImages)

Jon Creamer

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