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This short documentary takes viewers inside a graveyard shift at an innocuous-looking San Francisco call centre. Employees sit in cubicles glued to computer screens and wearing headsets. While on break, they drink coffee, watch the news, and hit the gym. But, as 911 first responders, the calls they field are often a matter of life or death. The US directors Elivia Shaw and Paloma Martinez skilfully survey the dissonant character of this unique workplace. By tracking a regular night shift at the centre, the filmmakers observe how employees meet chaos and intensity with calm and command. Through a fly-on-the-wall observational style and brief interviews with the emergency responders, The Shift probes what draws people to this unusually intense job, and how they often struggle to compartmentalise their emotions when dealing with distressing calls.
What is it like to clean the world for tomorrow while the rest of a city sleeps?
The nearly forgotten origin myth of Hawaii’s third-gender healers, as told by one
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Sports and games
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History of technology
Remarkable historical footage is locked behind paywalls. It’s time to set it free
Thinkers and theories
Bigger isn’t better – the renegade ‘Buddhist economics’ of E F Schumacher
What do tropical fish make of the strange creatures who love them so?
Information and communication
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Teaching and learning
The charity that teaches underprivileged kids to humanely hunt their next meal