In towns and cities across Pakistan, tens of thousands of vulnerable young boys have become the victims of paedophile predators who seem to have nothing to fear from the law. It’s an open secret that few acknowledge publicly and even fewer want to do anything about. Read more
By 1961, the Cold War and Space Race had picked up momentum as the US and Soviet Union vied for ideological and technological supremacy. On 12th April, the Soviets took the coveted crown by successfully launching the first man into space: young Yuri Gagarin.
When the rocket launched, he was a pilot-in-training from a farming village in Russia. Upon its return, he was the most famous man in the world. Russians cried with pride in the street. World leaders embraced him. Gagarin embodied the ideology the Soviet Union was hoping to spread; he had come from nothing to become a history-maker. He was the success of Communism. He had become more a living treasure than a man.
Behind that world-famous smile, however, was a story hitherto untold. Gagarin struggled with drink and was increasingly uneasy at the cruelties of the Soviet regime. Though eager to fly again, that famous April voyage was to be his only venture into space. Gagarin left the program shortly after fellow cosmonaut Vladimir Kamarov – due to a catalogue of errors Gagarin had warned his superiors about – was killed during a space mission. He was deemed too important to risk his life by going into space again. He instead returned to his first love, flying, and died in an unexplained plane crash at just 34.
This film follows Gagarin’s history with a series of exclusive interviews with his siblings and fellow cosmonauts. We look at the divergence between Gagarin the myth, a world-famous symbol of the space age, and the flawed man whose death remains shrouded in mystery.
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