VPRO‘s weekly, 50-minute, Future Affairs- program, balances on the edge of storytelling and journalism. It focuses on our globalized world in which societies, economies and cultures seek a new equilibrium. Backlight aims to grasp the quintessence of prominent trends and developments.


  • Zero Days

    Zero Days

    14-jul-2015 15:07:24

    There is new gold to be found on the internet, and possibly in your own computer. Secret backdoors, that do not have a digital lock yet, are being traded at astronomical amounts.

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  • The Human Robot

    The Human Robot

    15-jun-2015 16:35:20

    In this VPRO Backlight story director Rob van Hattum investigates the frameworks that determine the boundaries of how we see smart and social robots.

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  • Money for free

    Money for free

    15-jun-2015 16:28:52

    Around the globe, experiments are conducted with alternatives for the existing social security system that has become stuck. In many places and using many different methods they are experimenting with handing out free money.

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  • E-stonia - A startup country

    E-stonia - A startup country

    12-jun-2015 16:05:41

    In the very north-east of Europe, on the border of Russia, lies the small country of Estonia. Per capita, Estonia has the most start-ups; internet access is considered a human right and all Estonians have free wifi.

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  • The new wisdom of Ricardo Semler

    The new wisdom of Ricardo Semler

    12-jun-2015 15:56:44

    We are smarter than ever, but have we also grown wiser? According to Ricardo Semler, the Brazilian top entrepreneur and philosopher who became immensely rich by making his employees happy, our economy has gone completely off the rails and capitalism has failed to create equality anywhere, ever.

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  • Mobile Gold

    Mobile Gold

    12-jun-2015 15:50:38

    Our waste is worth money. Recovering it has started up a new global industry worth billions. It is called Urban Mining and it appears to be the solution for many of our environmental problems and our energy needs. And it is hot.

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  • Digital Food

    Digital Food

    12-jun-2015 15:43:52

    Modern food production is largely dependent on fossil fuels. Now that we are beginning to reach the end of them, the main question remains: How will we feed a global population of 9 billion people in 2050?

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  • Access to Africa

    Access to Africa

    12-jun-2015 15:35:39

    The urge of technological giants to connect everyone and everything literally has no limits. Africa is joining the traffic on the digital highway.

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  • Cybertopia


    25-jan-2015 13:37:00

    What is the vision of cyber-utopists in Silicon Valley? They are responsible for a revolution that shapes our lives on all levels. A portrait from Cybertopia.

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  • Changemakers


    18-jan-2015 13:48:26

    The rockstar of this time writes intellectual books. French enonomist Thomas Piketty and Canadian social activist Naomi Klein travel around the world as super stars to spread their ideas.

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  • Digital Amnesia

    Digital Amnesia

    This episode can only be watched outside The Netherlands

    7-sep-2014 10:35:51

    Our memory is dissipating. Hard drives only last five years, a webpage is forever changing and there’s no machine left that reads 15-year old floppy disks. Digital data is vulnerable.

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  • Wall Street Code

    Wall Street Code

    A thriller about a genius algorithm builder who dared to stand up against Wall Street

    4-nov-2013 20:03:49

    From the makers of the much-praised Quants: the Alchemists of Wall Street and Money & Speed: Inside the Black Box. Now the long-awaited final episode of a trilogy in search of the winners and losers of the tech revolution on Wall Street. Could mankind lose control of this increasingly complex system?

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  • The Tax Free Tour

    The Tax Free Tour

    25-mrt-2013 18:05:43

    "Where do multinationals pay taxes and how much?" Gaining insight from international tax experts, Backlight director Marije Meerman ('Quants' & 'Money & Speed'), takes a look at tax havens, the people who live there and the routes along which tax is avoided globally.

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  • Money & Speed: Inside the Black Box

    Money & Speed: Inside the Black Box

    20-mrt-2013 17:16:10

    Money & Speed: Inside the Black Box is a thriller based on actual events that takes you to the heart of our automated world. Based on interviews with those directly involved and data visualizations up to the millisecond, it reconstructs the flash crash of May 6th 2010: the fastest and deepest U.S. stock market plunge ever.

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  • The Cleantech Future

    The Cleantech Future

    20-mrt-2013 17:13:02

    What if we could live in a clean world? A world in which energy would be 100% renewable, water no longer polluted, transportation truly green and production methods clean and regenerative? There will be such a world. In this documentary VPRO Backlight explores the unprecedented possibilities of a new industrial revolution: Cleantech.

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  • The Food Speculator

    The Food Speculator

    20-mrt-2013 17:09:19

    Assuming the role of a speculator, director Kees Brouwer tries to find out whether he is merely taking advantage of the opportunity offered to investors by the food scarcity, or that, through this abstract world of financial products, he is drastically interfering in poor people's lives.

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  • Ten years of Backlight (Tegenlicht) in a globalising world

    Ten years of Backlight (Tegenlicht) in a globalising world

    27-nov-2012 17:32:02

    Anthe de Weerd

    A group of international Erasmus Mundus students visited Backlight in Hilversum to see how changing views on globalisation have been visualised in our documentaries in the past ten years.

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  • Webspecial: Rebecca MacKinnon

    Webspecial: Rebecca MacKinnon

    25-mei-2012 14:55:00

    Jip Mennema and Ramiro Gomes Monteiro

    In her ongoing struggle to democratize the Internet Rebecca MacKinnon has earned her stripes. As a former CNN Bureau Chief and current director of Global Voices, she has undertaken various efforts to lift the worlds Internet users from virtual serfdom to citizenship. In this interview, MacKinnon talks to us about the importance of citizen media, internet surveillance in China and Russia and the implications of new laws that may restrict Internet freedom.

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  • Goldman Sachs: the interview

    Goldman Sachs: the interview

    18-feb-2012 16:00:00

    Jip Mennema

    Backlight recorded a telephone interview with Goldman Sachs PR chief Lucas van Praag. It caught the attention of the outside world - more specifically, the New York Times.

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  • Holland Gets Talent

    Holland Gets Talent

    10-nov-2011 0:00:00

    Sarah Greaves

    Tegenlicht follows two young entrepreneurs to Shanghai where they have spotted a gap in the market and started an agency to select highly promising students in Shanghai for a research position in the Netherlands.

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