For better or worse, the industrial revolution is why we are where we are now. Perhaps that’s why this stand-alone documentary feels like it should be a series. Professor Jeremy Black does a decent job of shoehorning everything in, even if there’s a sense that more time could be spent on each subject he races past. As a result, this film offers a useful primer rather than a striking or definitive take on the subject. The problem is, there are so many answers to the question implied by the title. The industrial revolution was the product of coal, steam, canals and roads. It was the product of intellectual curiosity and technological virtuosity. And it was the product of brutal exploitation, both at home and abroad. In short, it came about as the result of a unique and freakish confluence of circumstances and an hour isn’t really enough time in which to do them justice.
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As Danish political thriller ‘Borgen’ enters its third and final series, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen – aka journalist Katrine Fønsmark – talks ambition and compromise What’s the secret of the international appeal of ‘Borgen’? ‘The whole political landscape has changed in recent years and everything is up for debate. We might have to find a slightly different way to put together our society. It’s a really interesting time. I feel like there’s more interest in politics [because of ‘Borgen’]. A lot of people still think politicians can’t be trusted – but at least they care. And because we show the private lives as well as professional ones, that seems to appeal to a lot of people.‘We’re very fortunate to be a part of the trend that “Wallander” and “The Killing” started. And in the UK, the fact that there are two strong female leads seems to resonate a lot here. Maybe in Denmark we’re a bit further ahead in terms of gender equality, especially where it comes to having children with maternity leave and childcare and so on.’ And what was the appeal of ‘Borgen’ for you? ‘After I did the first round of auditions, I was given the script of the first episode – usually they’re quite rough – but I gasped when I read it. My boyfriend went, “is it really shit?”, but it wasn’t – it was a page-turner. I’ve learnt a lot about acting, politics, journalism - and it’s taken me around the world, which has been amazing.’ If ‘Borgen’ is about maintaining principles whil
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