Films Available at the Video Bar
This year, the Video Bar will be at the Baker Downtown Center, 975 High Street, Suite 110. Here you can watch any of the entered films on individual viewing stations for no charge. All the entered films are listed below. Films noted with an asterisk (*) are also to be shown on the big screen for the competition.
Today the Mediterranean is a crucial hydrological system for more than 30 million people living along its coasts. It is also one of the most tectonically active regions of the Earth and represents a natural laboratory for modern scientists. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and large tsunamis have caused vast damage to the surrounding landscapes. Climatic and tectonic changes have induced critical sea level changes, which have dried the whole Mediterranean basin and flooded the Black Sea, thus conditioning human activity throughout history.
The Ancient Life, Episode 101: Beneath the Great Pyramid
The Egyptian pyramids are shrouded in mystery and one of their biggest secrets lies far beneath one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks: the Great Pyramid. Join host Brit Eaton and Egyptologist Vassil Dobrev as they reveal thousands of years of history, exploring the monuments at Giza, as well as the earlier pyramids that gave rise to the greatest pyramid ever constructed.
Archaeology from the Ashes: Wildfire and Archaeology in California
Fire and humanity have a long and complex partnership. This short film explores this partnership by looking at the connections between recent wildfires and archaeological discoveries in the back country of San Diego County, California. The aftermath of recent fires is changing the way we think about the history and prehistory of this region. Come visit with local archaeologists who work with firefighters, local communities and public agencies to improve understanding of the past and planning for the future.
The Balanda and the Bark Canoes
This documentary explores, with rare insight, the interplay between cultures by immersing a “Balanda” (white man) into the intricacies of kinship systems. This interaction lends a powerful voice to the inner conflicts of modern indigenous peoples caught between traditional life and modernity.
Bitter Roots puts to rest a Kalahari Myth. Set in Nyae-Nyae, a region of Namibia in southern Africa’s Kalahari desert, traditional home of the Ju’hoansi, Bitter Roots updates the ethnographic film record begun in the 1950s by John Marshall, whose films documented 50 years of change, and who, together with Claire Ritchie, established a grass-roots development foundation, which Adrian Strong (the film-maker) joined in the late 1980s. This film observes the erosion of a community-led development process in Nyae-Nyae following an imposition of a new agenda by the World Wildlife Fund, which prioritizes wildlife conservation and tourism over subsistence farming. The film sensitively examines the problems facing the Ju’hoansi, challenging the myth that they are culturally unable to farm. The film investigates the perpetuation of this myth by showing how tourists and film-makers still demand to see how people used to live rather than the way they live now, and how the Ju’hoansi cope with such expectations while steadfastly continuing to farm against all odds.
Black Sands simultaneously focuses on the significant archaeological discoveries of Professor Victor Sariandi in the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan, the physical surroundings and natural beauty of the desert itself, and the people working there, as well as their everyday life in the simplicity and harshness of their surroundings. This is not solely an archaeological documentary, but broadens its scope to encompass a fuller expression of the Gonur Tepe expedition.
Building in Conflict
The film uses a combination of oral history and archival footage to capture the meaning of Bristol, England, a city that was transformed through conflict. Through the perspective of three individuals, it examines physical change as well as symbolic change. Bristol was bombed six times during World War II. This film focuses on a specific incident: the night of November 24, 1940. What used to be the center of the city changed completely and this film examines the change that area has seen up to the present through the perspectives of three different people at different points in time.
Building the Great Cathedrals*
Take a dazzling architectural journey inside the majestic marvels of Gothic architecture - the great cathedrals of Chartres, Beauvais, and other European cities, some of which now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, a team of engineers, architects, art historians, and computer scientists search the naves, bays, and bell-towers for clues. NOVA investigates the architectural secrets that the cathedral builders used to erect their towering glass-filled walls, and reveals the hidden formulas drawn from the Bible that drove medieval builders ever-upward.
The Celtic Legacy
With the Castro de Baroña as the central element of the story, we describe the unique culture of the “castros,” which originated in what today is the autonomous region of Galicia, in northwestern Spain. We go back in history to the Stone Age and compare the Galician settlements with those of England, Ireland, and Scotland, with particular attention to Stonehenge. Dolmens, burial mounds, and stelae reveal the evolution of the first inhabitants of Galicia.
Choir Boy Lucky
At two months of age, Andrew Balfour was adopted into the home of an Anglican priest, his wife, and their children. It was only in his teens that Andrew came to understand that he was Métis. Thus, his teenage years led to rebellion which played out to be a rough and dangerous period in Andrew’s life. He lived on the streets in Winnipeg and ended up in jail. After his release, he formed a unique choral ensemble with his old choir boy buddies; his mission was to create a bridge between European and aboriginal culture.
Fred Ford inherited both a Canadian and a family legacy. He also inherited a great disease, photography, an affliction which took hold of his family three generations ago when his European forefathers settled in the Canadian High Arctic and began recording life through photography. Fred’s family history is rich in images of the Canadian North, the Inuit, their art, the European settlers, and their impact. He continues to photograph from his home in Winnipeg and tours an exhibit both of his modern photos and the historic photos his granddad left him at the turn of the century.
Deep Time at Tall Hisban*
Tall Hisban is the longest continually excavated archaeological site in Jordan. This film presents two intertwined stories: the story of the comings and goings of many empires throughout the past three millennia in Jordan and the story of how the local population has survived under this long series of power shifts. The film was shot on location in Jordan during a three-week dig in May 2010, during which its international team exhibited reason to hope for the future of international cooperation. Some shots are from the surrounding regions, such as Madaba, Jerash, and Wadi Musa.
Dive Detectives: Warship Down*
In the depths of Canada’s Lake Ontario rest two of the best preserved wooden shipwrecks in the entire world. The Hamilton and the Scourge of the American fleet battled the British navy for control of the Great Lakes during the War of 1812. Mike and Warren Fletcher join forces with a team of archaeologists, scientists, and marine engineers in an attempt to penetrate the wrecks for the first time since their sinking. Guided by the testimony of Ned Myers - a sailor who dictated the only surviving eyewitness account of the disaster - the team works to uncover the truth behind the sinking and why so many lives were lost.
The Dreams and Disillusions of Soccer
For the first time, the FIFA World Cup is set on the continent of Africa. In this context, the documentary focuses on the gifted young African players who are exploited and turned into commodities. Dreaming of becoming the new Adebayor or Steve Mandanda, they are sent to Europe where they rely on shady and unscrupulous agents.
Drums on the Red River
Once a year in Yen Vinh, Hung Yen Province, Vietnam, a grand three-day festival is held at a temple by the banks of the Red River to worship the god Chu Dong Tu and his two wives, Tien Dung and Tay Sa. During the festival, three area villages converge on the main temple complex to participate in the ritual offerings, folk games, ca tru singing, and other events. The Festival was revived in 1986, the year in which the economic and political reforms were passed in Vietnam. The Festival is an important example of the widespread revival of traditional folk festivals that has followed reform. This film documents the Chu Dong Tu Festival of 2007.
The Eagles of Alexandria
In the summer of 2009, a team of numismatics is looking at bronze coinage, particularly the twin eagle piece struck in Alexandria, Egypt, in the 2nd century BC. The basic approach for stamping coinage is known, but the production chain for working in bronze is different and brings its own new set of puzzles. Nevertheless, the results are encouraging; the coins created by the team are very close to the archaeological finds. Even though numerous questions are left to be answered, the team is gradually mastering the production techniques of the ancient mints.
Ebb and Flow
A sliver of muddy intertidal zone in southern Changhua is the last remaining intact stretch of natural coastline in Taiwan. Bordering this stretch of coast is a small village, which maintains both a long-standing traditional lifestyle and a living model for a sustainable future. Here grandmas and grandpas make the daily pilgrimage of riding oxcarts to harvest oysters in the intertidal zone and then returning to their fields to till the land in accordance with the lunar calendar. Each and every family lives a life between the harvesting of oysters from the ocean and the tilling of their land amidst the most spectacular scenery.
“The human soul is the entelechy of a natural body having life potentially within it.”
Aristotle’s concise reasoning, hovering in the vast universe, merges in the main body of Stavros Papageorghiou’s documentary Entelechy; a Ulyssean, twenty-year long journey in the labyrinths of archaeoastronomy, geodesy and philosophy. Stavros Papageorghiou’s camera followed and recorded Goris’ quest for the discovery of the geodetic and archaeoastronomical dimension of Cyprus’ ancient sacred temples and sanctuaries.
Etruscan Odyssey: Expanding Archaeology*
The early Mediterranean civilization of Etruria flourished for a thousand years and then vanished, leaving beguiling art and artifacts, but little trace of its history. After decades of painstaking work, archaeologists now are beginning to piece together a fascinating portrait of daily life in Etruscan society. Etruscan Odyssey engages viewers with a brief historical background utilizing stunning images of artifacts from the finest known collections of Etruscan art. These works highlight the expert aesthetic and technical prowess of the Etruscans, which continues to inspire a desire to find out more about the lost culture at the heart of the Mediterranean tradition. Follow the team as they find an isolated city frozen in time, buried in the ground, coming out, piece by precious piece.
The Fate of Old Beijing*
In the face of China’s rapid modernization, the country is struggling to preserve its cultural heritage, and nowhere is this more visible than in the ancient alleyways and courtyards of Beijing. The hutongs are more than simply housing: they are a way of life. Despite the lack of modern amenities, the communal aspect to life within the hutongs means that few residents want to leave - even as their neighborhoods are being demolished and redeveloped. This film explores the vanishing world of Beijing’s hutongs, the realities of life within those narrow streets, and the future for these culturally irreplaceable areas and the people who live in them.
This documentary addresses the subject of cable road construction in Tatev, Armenia. There were plans for construction work in the vicinity of ancient tombstones and on the area that required archaeological excavations. We spent several days camping in Tatev not far from the road to Halidzor. We were told stories which we investigated further in our filming. After filming, we collected all of the stories, both believable and unbelievable, and went back to Yerevan. It became a short film called Father’s Land.
Finding the Fallen: The Rings*
The Trench Detectives came across a body buried with particular care on a World War I battlefield where tens of thousands of soldiers died in 1915. As forensic scientists struggle to decipher the engravings on the soldier’s corroded ID tag, another team of experts teases apart a leather pouch the man was carrying; in it are three rings: a pair of matching rings each inscribed with a surname and a date, and a third ring that bears the Iron Cross, clearly keepsakes with meaning for this fallen soldier. An intensive investigation with many twists and turns finally yields the identity of the Fallen, bringing the Trench Detectives face-to-face with his descendants.
Five Meters Under Zurich
This film is about a great discovery in the city center of Zurich, Switzerland: a prehistoric settlement of houses built on piles in Lake Zurich. Today it is an underground world, requiring work by dozens of archaeologists fighting against time in order to save the maximum amount of information about this incredible prehistoric site.
Nærøyfjord, one of the narrowest fjords of western Norway, is one of the main tourist attractions in Norway and the landscape was included in UNESCOs world heritage list in 2005. This film visually explores why this landscape is so famous and considered so valuable. It aims to capture the atmosphere of a landscape with a deep cultural history, which today is home to only a few people. The goal was purely artistic, as an effort to challenge the way films about nature traditionally are made.
Foccart: The Man Who Ruled Africa
This documentary tells the extraordinary and enigmatic story of Jacques Foccart, considered as “Mister Africa” by French presidents De Gaulle, Pompidou and Chirac. He dealt with a mysterious and protean network in “independent” sub-Saharan Africa, which was, for fifteen years, his field of action. He founded a true parallel state between Paris and the 14 African colonies’ capital cities. His actions outlived him for a while, but the Rwandan genocides greatly tarnished his reputation.
The François Vase: Painted Myth
One of the masterpieces of the great art of Attic pottery, the François Vase is famed for its size, but even more so for its harmonic proportions and opulent decorations. Bringing together accurate scientific research and enjoyable story-telling, with the aid of 3D reconstructions and animated scenes, this short film illustrates in detail the complex artwork of the krater which is an authentic compendium of the most important Greek myths.
In the 1970s, archaeologist and anthropologist Edmund Carpenter and Adelaide de Menil in New York state were offered an 18th Century farmhouse that was going to be torn down. They transported the house to Further Lane where it was restored. Sixteen more 17th and 18th century buildings representing the original architecture of eastern Long Island followed until the property was sold in 2007. All the structures were removed from the land and donated to civic and historical organizations. This film follows the saga of those buildings.
The Ghosts of Green Bottom: Uncovering a 19th Century Plantation
In 1825, William Jenkins did the unthinkable—he crossed the rugged Appalachians to establish a Southern-style plantation on the wilderness fringe of Western Virginia. Being loyal Virginians, the family cast its lot with the Confederacy during the Civil War, which would trigger a series of fateful events that ended the plantation lifestyle and nearly destroyed the family’s once proud legacy. With the support of the US Army Corp of Engineers, a team of archaeologists rediscover the past and help interpret this lost era in American history.
A Gift From Talking God*
To the Navajo people of the American Southwest, “sheep is life.” The Navajo-Churro sheep is the original breed, which has sustained the Navajo, Pueblo, and Hispanic People for 400 years. On the verge of extinction a generation ago, the Navajo-Churro is making a comeback to the Navajo people. The Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity recognizes the breed as a culturally and genetically important animal, worthy of international recognition. This film offers a portrait of rarely seen traditional Navajo lifeways and sustainable herding practices in the remote Arizona-New Mexico homeland.
The Governor’s Company of Adventurers
The drama re-enacts a chapter of Canadian history. In the year 1824, an important female passenger sits mid-ship in a fur trade canoe en route to York Factory, Manitoba, Canada. Francois Leclair, a veteran of the trade and leader of the ill-fated expedition, is held responsible when the passenger does not reach her destination.
Clinging along ten miles of sheer cliffs and overhanging rock, one of the greatest engineering works of Colorado’s Gold Rush Era still defies gravity and the elements. Gold fever drove its construction, but just who built it and how? Did miners dangle by 1000-foot long ropes from the cliff to chisel the flume into sheer red rock walls? The answers to these questions eluded historians for over a century until a group of archaeologists and engineers teamed up to rediscover the lost art of building the Hanging Flume.
This documentary follows the challenges faced by the groundbreaking and controversial Vietnamese band Dai Lam Linh, while rehearsing and performing in their hometown of Hanoi. Followed by scandal at every turn for their experimental sound and their use of sexually explicit lyrics, the band has dared to flout taboos and fight for their creative freedom. Dai Lam Linh’s story of creative, political, and financial struggle reveals what it is like to be a contemporary musician in a one-party state where cultural expression is tightly controlled.
Herculaneum: Diaries of Darkness and Light
This film tells the story of the excavations of Herculaneum. Today, two-thirds of the ancient city still lies under the modern city of Ercolano. In order to continue the excavations, large parts of the modern city would have to be knocked down. The diaries of Archaeologist Amedeo Maiuri, together with interviews and unseen footage, lead us into the discovery of the archaeological site and invite us to consider the relationship that humans have with their past: our desire to discover it, to understand it and to preserve it in time.
Historic Fort Gadsden
The film focuses on Ft. Gadsden, notable for being the scene of a mass tragedy in the early 1800s. The British-built fort posed a threat to American vessels traveling the Apalachicola River. In the face of an imminent American attack, over 300 escaped and freed slaves and many local Native Americans took refuge in the fort. On July 27, 1816, Col. Duncan Clinch ordered his gunboat to fire on the fort. One of the early shots from the ship’s guns landed on the ammunition magazine inside the fort, resulting in a massive explosion.
The Hobbit Enigma*
The Hobbit Enigma examines one of the greatest controversies in science today: what did scientists find when they uncovered the tiny, human-like skeleton of a strange creature, known to many as the Hobbit, on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003? Are the bones a previously unknown and bizarre primitive species of human? The Hobbit discovery forces us to rethink some of the most fundamental questions of human origins. With exclusive access to ongoing interdisciplinary research and new fieldwork, this is a comprehensive account of a startling new view of human evolution.
The Hyperspectral Hunt for Mass Graves: Novel Ways of Locating the Dead
Finding archaeological remains, including mass graves, is a very time and energy intensive activity. Emerging remote sensing methods could allow archaeologists to figure out the “where” more rapidly, so that they may focus their limited resources on figuring out the “what” and the “when.” This film follows a team of McGill University geographers, archaeologists and ecologists who have been developing the use of hyper-spectral aerial imagery for identifying and locating the sites of clandestine mass graves.
An experimental film, Ikwé is the re-imagination of the generational conversation and passage of traditional knowledge between a woman and her grandmother moon. The film weaves the narrative of one woman’s (Ikwé’s) intimate thoughts, spoken in French, with the teachings of her grandmother, the Moon, spoken in Cree, recreating a surreal narrative experience that communicates the power of thoughts and personal reflection. It inspires the question: what is the place of traditional knowledge in the life of the 21st Century?
The Incredible Story of the Red Lion
Dorje is a Tibetan refugee living in Dharamshala in northern India. He is also a born entertainer who loves to dance and has a style that is completely his own. However, Dorje is also troubled by thoughts of what the future holds. The signs and symbols of globalization are all around him as Dharamshala has become a prime destination for foreign tourists and the environment is changing rapidly. The film follows Dorje over a one-year period in his life, as he seeks recognition and a true sense of belonging in both his adopted home and the wider world.
In Search of Saxons at Berkeley Castle
The film follows the seasonal exploits of archaeologists from the University of Bristol, as they attempt to unearth and understand the complex Anglo-Saxon and Norman landscapes of Berkeley Castle. While the later medieval castle remains, little is known about an earlier religious building that supposedly stood in the same vicinity.
An Introduction to Contemporary Archaeology*
This short film is a short introduction (and a spoof!) to the new field of “contemporary archaeology.” Dr. Brooklyn Honswoggle-Smythe, Buckinghamshire New University’s youngest and most brilliant Contemporologist, guides you through the ins and outs and back-ins of the world of contemporary archaeology—the new subject everyone’s talking about! Did you know archaeologists could laugh about themselves? Or should this gibe at the modern theoretitician be taken seriously at some level?
In the cool of Khuzestan province, Iran, an old shepherd tends his herd. “I was neither a good husband for my wife or a good father for my children,” admits Baliti. But he is a conscientious guard. He has made it his life’s mission to protect the ancient engravings at Koul Farah, an ancient heritage site. This Elamite temple comprises six engravings depicting religious ceremonies and scenes of sacrifice dating back some 3000 years. Living alone in an isolated gorge, Baliti is guarding them with his rifle for the nation, even though he feels the nation doesn’t appreciate it. But he clearly remembers who does value Koul Farah’s worth: the esteemed Mr. Roman Grishman, a French archaeologist who made a big impression on Baliti forty years ago and whose visit he still discusses with the sheep in his care, or any visitor who cares to listen.
This drama is about a young and enthusiastic Ethiopian journalist, Mezeker (later to become “Lalombe” in the tribal community of Hamer in southwestern Ethiopia), who becomes immersed in the major project of filming famous Ethiopian heritage sites and their incredibly long historical trajectories. While traveling across the country, he encounters many interwoven challenges and difficulties. To his dismay, many unexpected stories begin to unfold, such as a mischievous plot by his childhood friend against his very survival and falling in love with strangers. However, nothing holds him back from fulfilling his goals and realizing his dream.
Libya is Near*
Libya is an ancient giant: at times aggressive, indomitable, impetuous, and then suddenly friendly, yielding, generous and yet again unpredictable and impertinent. This film takes you on a journey of fascination and emotion to the many worlds of this huge and mysterious country. Libya is like a dream, encapsulating history between desert and sky. On your dream voyage, you witness the Tadrat Akakus; Messak Settafet; Garama, the ancient capital of the Garamantes; old Ghat, a jewel of the great Libyan Jamahiriya, the glory of Leptis Magna, the wonder of the Sabratha. Life is not measured by how many breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Life From 95
Jim Agapito and Ervin Chartrand document and create a music video with the youth of IRCOM (Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba) to deter them from gangs in the inner city. This film project utilized funding and support from the WITH ART program, which matches artists with community groups to collaborate on art projects that explore ideas and issues to give voice to community.
This film is about boulders with rock images: battering-rams of Armenian civilization, located in different parts of the country’s capital city, Yerevan. The boulders now lie in “the Garden of the Dragons” and nothing has been spoken in the media regarding these rock images. The fate of the stones is now in question, as they often serve as building materials. Together with Grigor Vahanyan, we (the film makers) presented an application to the municipality of Yerevan to get permission to investigate and present a program of monument allocation referring to the ancient Armenian culture in Yerevan. Through this film, we managed to save this cultural resource. The stone monuments will remain in the envisaged territory with proper exhibition.
The Lord of Sipan*
This is the story of a Great Lord of the Moche culture, who was buried with honors so that his message would endure in time, and an archaeologist named Walter Alva, who rescued this Lord from his tomb to fulfill his ancient plan. The Moche culture developed on the northern coast of Peru between 100 BC and AD 400. It is a mysterious culture that disappeared shortly after reaching its peak. Today, everyone has heard of the Moche, thanks to the discoveries made during the last two decades. The discoveries continue, and the splendor of this unique civilization still surprises the world.
Love at First Sight
Take a romantic jaunt through the Stone Age, Ancient Egypt, Rome, Medieval Europe, and a number of other historical periods. This short animated film takes a satirical journey through time to examine the role of love and relationships in various historical periods which subsequently set the stage for the modern “Suburban Acres” interpretation of Valentine’s Day and perhaps extends even beyond modern ideology into what director Mick Cusimano calls the “Space Age.”
Loving the Bomb
Loving the Bomb is a hand-drawn animation that constructs a portrait of a family grappling with contradiction: how to live with the effects of nuclear weapons while depending on their production. The film works to interweave the accounts of scientists and soldiers involved in nuclear weapons testing and atomic-positive propaganda with the lives of a family living in an area supported by the production of nuclear arms, in order to create a portrait of a community that is harmed by, yet reliant upon, this contentious industry.
Madinat al-Zahra: The Brilliant City
The city of Madinat al-Zahra in Spain becomes the main character of this audiovisual presentation, which recreates the city framework in its most magnificent moment as the capital city of the Umayyad (Moorish) state of al-Andalus. The film does this through a combination of real images and virtual reality techniques. A rigorous reconstruction, both architectonical and spatial, of the different buildings making up the palatine area is carried out, giving an explanation of its functions.
Curious about the recent popularity of mukluks and feathered headbands, three young female friends in Canada begin sifting through racks of new trends collecting fashionable signifiers of Indigenous identity. Their window shopping is contrasted with a museum visit full of artifacts and ethnographic dioramas meant to represent historical aboriginal culture. With fabric and sewing machines, they begin to stitch together their own dresses based on the pastiche of their experience and understanding.
For over sixty years, Cecile St. Amant has been keeping a deep secret: she is Métis (Canadian aboriginal group of mixed First Nations and European heritage). Cecile’s granddaughter, Janelle, sets out to understand her Mémère’s (grandmother’s) denial and playfully plots her own mission to open her Mémère’s eyes to the richness of her heritage. Janelle soon realizes that her Mémère will not be easily convinced that being Métis is something to be proud of. In this heart-warming and extraordinary journey, Janelle’s mischievous and persistent prodding of her grandmother reveals a generation’s legacy of shame and the profound courage of the human spirit to overcome it.
Métis, Métis Not
This Canadian experimental film is a documentation of the film-maker’s lack of relationship with her cultural background. It explores her own myths, stereotypes and clichés from reenacting the discovery of her native heritage to embracing her Métis-ness late in life, transforming into a Gift Shop Native Doll. The piece deals with feelings of guilt, lack of entitlement and the film-maker’s own naiveté at her personal cultural crossroads and what it means to be Métis.
The installation process of a new museum in Spain is a starting point for the reflection about the contact between the object on one hand and, on the other hand, the viewer, the culture, the art and the society in which the glass is the leitmotif. This is a reflection that extends beyond the local context where the facts exist into a universal field: the sense of culture and art in our society.
My Fancy High Heels
This is a Taiwanese film about dreams bound together by beautiful high-heeled shoes. From procuring the leather, to the assembly line, to the contract manufacturer, to the moment when lily-white feet slip into each pair of high heels, how many people’s hands do these shoes pass through? These include the Chinese farming woman who tends the cattle, the worker, the manager of the contract manufacturing firm, and the young New York woman from a wealthy family who wears the shoes. This film adopts their dreams as its central theme and reveals the story that lies behind a pair of beautiful high heel shoes.
The Mystery of Donbass Acheul
Recently, some scientists have stated doubts regarding the detection possibilities of the Acheulian era (often associated with the human ancestor, Homo erectus) in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. This film focuses on the question about whether or not there was an Acheulean era in the Donbass. Working in this direction, archaeologists Vetrov and Skorikov found a series of sites on the banks of the Severski Donets River. Their studies have yielded interesting results, supporting the belief that human settlement of the Donbass began during Middle Acheulian epoch, hundreds of thousands of years ago.
The Mystery of the Thracians
Orpheus, Midas, and Spartacus now are all names in the collective memory—all three of them were Thracian. History has not forgotten them and their civilization’s rare and splendid remains are featured and analyzed in this documentary. Fathers of agriculture and domestication, and builders of the first sedentarized villages, the Thracians, who lived in current Bulgaria, were ahead of their time and had great influence on the rest of Europe. The ruins, their inhabitants and their tombs have delivered treasures and notably the oldest gold artifacts.
The National Archaeological Museum of Florence
The Archaeological Museum of Florence is situated in the heart of the city, in Palazzo della Crocetta. Created to keep and exhibit the many prestigious archaeological pieces from the Medici Grand-Ducal Collections, this is one of the most important museums in the world for Etruscan art and civilization, as well as for some masterpieces of Grecian art. This treasure trove, lesser known than that of other Florentine museums, contains many unique pieces and houses a section dedicated to bronzes from the late-Classic and Renaissance periods.
Occhiolá: A Crib in the Erean Mountains
January, 1693: an earthquake hits the south-eastern part of Sicily. In the Val di Noto district the ground swallows up entire cities. Among these is Occhiolá, a rural village located in the inland parts of Catania near the Erean Mountains of central Sicily. After three centuries, archaeological research highlights the remains of Occhiolá, discovering among the rubble traces of an interrupted life. This documentary embarks on a journey through time to discover the roots of Occhiolá.
On Broadway questions the relationships among religion, public spaces and memory in contemporary American society. It unsettles various conservative yet established ideas about the role of the “secular” in a multi-cultural society and asks its viewers to rethink the term’s fluidity. On Broadway is a structural account that provides subtle yet political commentary on the case. It asks what it means to be Muslim in Manhattan. What does it mean to be a “multi-cultural Muslim”? This film reassembles these issues through a return to the moving image’s core, namely temporality.
The Opet Festival and Moulid Abulhaggag: Two Festivals 3000 Years Apart
This film, produced in Egypt, shows at first the relationship between two temples: Karnak and Luxor. Then it explains in detail the sequence of the ancient Opet Festival as engraved on the walls of the great colonnade of Luxor temple. Finally, it displays a fascinating visual comparison between the rituals on the walls of the temple and the annual ritual performed today on the occasion of the feast of the Moslem Sheikh Abu el-Haggag. Although they are three thousand years apart, they have distinct similarities.
Underneath the woods and the muskeg of northern Alberta lie roughly two trillion barrels of oil— fifteen percent of the world’s known reserves and six times more than what’s left in Saudi Arabia. The oil fields are also the homeland of two small aboriginal communities, Fort Mackay and Fort Chipewyan, which lie along the Athabasca River. The people of these communities are trying to preserve their traditional way of life in the midst of the largest and most destructive oil recovery operation the world has ever known. These are their voices.
Patrimonito’s World Heritage Adventures: Old Town of Avila*
UNESCO developed the cartoon series, Patrimonito's World Heritage Adventures, in 2002 as part of the celebrations for the 30th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention. In an international competition launched that year, young people prepared storyboards on World Heritage sites in their countries. Prize-winning storyboards were professionally animated and produced. In this episode, Patrimonito, helped by children, shows how to efficiently preserve world heritage in the old town of Avila, Spain. His lesson is this: the first step for protecting our heritage is to know it.
People & Icons: The Virgin Episkepsis
The film examines the troubled history of a Byzantine icon of the Virgin Mary, which became a symbol of a Greek city in Asia Minor. The icon was brought to Greece in 1922 along with the Greek refugees from the city and became a part of the permanent collection in the Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens as well as a symbol of religious significance to the community.
The Quest for the Unicorn: A Brief history of Belief*
Accounts of the large white horse with a large, pointed spiraling horn projecting from its forehead are found in natural history accounts of ancient Greek writers. Is the unicorn just a legend or did it actually exist, simply disappearing like the Dodo or the Tasmanian Tiger? The Quest for the Unicorn traces the rise of the unicorn in world literature and relates how its journey through history mirrored the slow emergence of scientific thought in the Christian world, which saw the unicorn as a reincarnation of Christ himself.
Ramesses the Second: The Great Journey*
Under the reign of Ramesses the Second, pharaoh of the New Empire’s 19th Dynasty, Egypt was living the final hours of its golden age. After a reign of 67 years, the powerful emperor died at the age of 92. He became the legendary “Ramesses the Great.” His mummy was interred in the heart of the Valley of the Kings, on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes. This marked the beginning of his Great Journey towards the afterlife, where he met with eternity on the condition that his tomb be preserved for all time. This film relates a fascinating investigation through time and space and reveals the fantastic and macabre story of the “after-life” of Ramesses the Second.
The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz*
When anthropologist Spencer MacCallum walked into a second-hand store in Deming, New Mexico, in 1976 and bought three pieces of pottery, he had no idea that he was about to embark on a journey that would lead to the revival of an ancient art form. Finding his way to Mata Ortiz, México, MacCallum partnered with self-taught artist Juan Quezada and slowly they created an industry that today is known world-wide not only for its interpretations of a centuries-old style of ceramics, but for stunning post-modern works as well. The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz tells the improbable story of how Quezada (without a kiln or a potter’s wheel and using only found materials) and MacCallum both experienced creative and personal breakthroughs which led to dazzling, innovating works by Quezada and a passing of the torch to younger, award-winning artists such as Diego Valles.
The Restoration of Ancient Walls as a Ruin
During a journey to the ruins of Ostica Antica, the harbor of ancient Rome, we visit The Mithraeum of the Painted Walls. Here, the Institute for Conservation and Restoration (funded by the Italian Ministry of Culture) applies an original method to save the extraordinary architecture of the ancient town, with a focus on methods of ancient wall construction.
This film, through the fictional narration of a real Nineteenth Century icon creator in Greece, presents the fundamental contribution of the Monastery of Panagia Faneromeni, or Monastery of the Virgin Mary Revealed, to the social and cultural life in the Ionian island of Lefkada. “Virgin Mary Revealed” refers to the vision of the Fifth Century creator of the original icon, Kallistos, which was revealed to him in full detail, according to legend. The monastery and its church were destroyed and rebuilt numerous times in the nearly two millennia of their existence. The film came about as part of a European-funded project to conserve and restore the monastery’s archives.
Robert Blake and the Civil War Sieges of Taunton*
Be prepared for a truly fresh look at the exploits of English Parliamentarian commander Robert Blake under Oliver Cromwell during the first English Civil War. From July 1664 to July 1665, the city of Taunton, the only Parliamentery enclave in the southwest of England, under the leadership of Colonel Blake held out against the Royalist forces led by Lord Goring. Blake, who went on to become a legendary admiral, famously declared that he had four pairs of boots and would eat three pairs before he would surrender. This film relates the archaeology and history of the period as well as Blake’s influence on the outcome of the conflict.
The Sacred Seven
In Canada, one young child defies all odds to establish balance through routine and spiritual enlightenment. The Sacred Seven is an inspiring story about Mellissa, a seven-year-old foster child who grounds herself with the Seven Sacred Teachings by the late Elder Dorris Campbell. This film offers a mere glimpse into the realm of a neglectful foster home and how one child strives to establish balance.
Santa Severa in Legend and History
This documentary tells of the excavations that led to the extraordinary discovery of the early Christian church in the Castle of Santa Severa, located in Italy just north of Rome. It is the fascinating story of the discovery of the church which remained buried for centuries under the courtyard of the Piazza della Rocca. This film serves as an example of how modern archaeological research can return to the community important pieces of history and material evidence to help reconstruct the complex mosaic of shared memory.
Secrets of the Valley: The Prehistory Kanawha
Native Americans have lived in West Virginia for at least 12,500 years, but their story fell silent long ago. Who were they and how did they live? Secrets of the Valley uncovers the mystery, blending archaeology and Native American oral tradition for a rare journey back through time.
Shipwrecks of the Western Solent*
Join award-winning underwater cameraman Michael Pitts and New Forest National Park Authority maritime archaeologists on an underwater adventure. In this film, they explore five wrecks in the Western Solent and beyond the Needles, in a busy shipping lane in southern England between the Isle of Wight and the mainland. Learn how archaeologists discover the stories and secrets of these forgotten vessels, as well as the rewards this work can reveal. The ships investigated for the New Forest Coastal Heritage project include the Ceres, Fenna, SS War Knight, SS Serrana and MV Margaret Smith.
Solving History with Olly Steeds: Hitler’s Mummies
From a mysterious castle deep in the German countryside, an elite division of Hitler’s SS worked the ultimate propaganda mission: to prove the existence of an Aryan super-race that once ruled the planet. Some of Germany’s brightest minds built an alternate history of the world, studying ancient carvings, seeking out lost relics, and analyzing the ancient dead—human mummies. In this TV documentary produced for Discovery, Olly Steeds journeys into the nightmare of Nazi propaganda, and explores its chilling legacy today.
This is a Canadian drama about a young aboriginal man in Winnipeg who, after his release from jail, desires to make changes to better his life. Unfortunately, the poor choices he made in the past hinder his advances towards the future. We discover how these bad choices have affected, and continue to affect, his present and future self.
This is a trio of short films about history in the city of Winnipeg. “Sand and Stone” digs up the history, hard labor and urban landscape of Winnipeg. “Watermarks” travels the emotional currents evoked by the experience of flooding in the lives of city dwellers and looks for imprints left behind after the waters receded. “Waiting for the Parade” transforms the 75th anniversary celebration of Winnipeg in 1948 into a discourse on the city’s shifting identity through decades of progress and regress, cynicism and hope.
The Special Live Telecast on the Underwater Probe and Retrieve of Nan’ao No.1 Shipwreck of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in Shantou, Guangdong Province, China
May 2011 marked the beginning of the large-scale excavation of the shipwreck Nan’ao No.1. The archaeological team expected to retrieve the entire ship’s cargo, which was mostly Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) porcelains. China Central Television started live telecasts of the whole process of the archaeological probe and excavation to transmit images by satellite to audiences around the world. The excavation successfully retrieved more than 20,000 porcelain objects of the Ming Dynasty, which lasted for more than 400 years.
Syntrivani: The Sound of Water
Syntrivani Fountain, a central monument of Thessaloniki, Greece, was built in 1884 during the Ottoman period after the demolition of the city’s eastern wall. It was a personal gift of Sultan Abdul Hamid to the citizenry and part of an embellishment plan. A late Baroque structure, Syntrivani is connected to the modern history of the town and stands today as a reminder of times past.
The Tal Qadi Stone
The Tal Qadi Stone of Malta seems to read the heavens as interpreted by the prehistoric Temple Period (6000-4500 B.C.) people, who left a priceless heritage and the many megalithic temples scattered across the Maltese islands. Whatever the interpretation of the Tal Qadi stone might be, we can only speculate at what other antiquities lie waiting to be unearthed and bring us closer to the mysterious and enigmatic Temple Builders.
Tashina is an experimental short Canadian film that follows a young Aboriginal girl’s hopes, dreams and identity as they are re-negotiated within the walls and tunnels of the institution of education. Join her as she confronts her fears and insecurities toward leaving the safety and comfort of her home and family to pursue an education in Winnipeg.
The Temple of Dendera (The Wonder of the Zodiac of Dendera)
This film offers a visit to the best preserved temple of Dendara, namely the temple that was dedicated to the cow goddess Hathor, goddess of motherhood, fertility, agriculture, joy, love, and music; she is also a sky-goddess and a goddess of the underworld. Viewers will enjoy two unique astronomical scenes, first being the rectangular zodiac in the ceiling of the hypostyle hall and second being the famous circular zodiac. At the end of the film, viewers will enjoy a very innovative section created with an opera work of the text surrounding the Zodiac in hieroglyphic script.
The Tomb of the Hidden Mummies*
In 1871, in the cliffs of Deir El Behri near the village of Qurna, not far from Luxor in Egypt, a young boy called Ahmed El-Rassul accidentally discovered a hidden tomb in the belly of the mountain near his home. Ahmed and his family looted the tomb for over a decade until their activities became known to the Egyptian antiquities service. When archaeologists arrived, they were stunned by what they saw. The tomb contained more than fifty royal mummies. This sensational discovery had a profound impact on what was known of Egyptian history and reminded everyone that looting has been an Egyptian nemesis for thousands of years.
A Tomb Raider in Cyprus*
During his stay on the island from 1865 until 1876, the American consul in Cyprus, Luigi Palma di Cesnola, became an amateur archaeologist in order to profit from the trade of antiquities. He gathered up more than 35,000 objects. When local authorities prohibited the export of this enormous collection, Cesnola loaded his treasures onto boats and shipped them to New York. Although the island had been heavily pillaged, fifty years after Cesnola’s departure, a village priest led archaeologists to the village of Agia Eirini, where they made a unique discovery of great importance for the entire Eastern Mediterranean.
Forty-one years after the first Apollo lunar landing, the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 was introduced into the House of Representatives. In this short news story, Monique Soltani of the TV newsmagazine, California Life, heads to the state capital and introduces us to the educators behind the bill and the next generation of space conservationists to find out why they think space preservation should be a priority.
A Treasure of Gold*
In the 1970s, near the village of Aidonia, in the Greek municipality of Nemea, a mule fell into a hole. Upon rescuing the animal, villagers discovered a rare golden treasure buried amidst a group of skeletons. A few years later, archaeologists arrived at the looted site. Sixteen of the 18 tombs already had been emptied, but a small stash of jewelry had been overlooked by the tomb robbers. Later, a collection of Mycenaean jewelry went up for sale at an auction house in New York City. This is the story of the plunder of Mycenaean tombs and of the recovery of a treasure made of gold.
Trzcinica: The Carpathian Troy
This film follows the research going on at the Bronze Age site at Trzcinica, Poland, with the object of revealing the history of a mysterious hill. Through the use of modern computer animation, the film-makers recreate scenes from everyday life during the prehistoric period at the site as well as depictions of the cultural relations between them and the people of the valleys to the south. The film also presents the scientific methods used to determine the age of relics and assigning dates to works of art.
In 1975, 2500 Canadian aboriginal children were adopted outside of Manitoba. Two of these children were creator Jackie Traverse’s brother and sister. In this hand-drawn animation, Traverse punctuates this touching personal story about the 60s “scoop” of children into the Canadian child-welfare system, and grapples with issues of identity and trust associated with this era’s foster-care system.
Valley of the Kings
The animated tale of a rooster archaeologist who takes a vacation to Egypt for rest and relaxation...or so he thinks. Follow him as he discovers some of the ancient secrets of Egypt’s past, encountering the likes of Ramses II and his Queen Nefertari, Seti the First, and Kind Tut, as well as some unpleasant exchanges with a jackal, a crocodile, and a swarm of locusts.
Via Claudia Augusta: A Journey in History from the Adriatic to the Danube
The Roman road Via Claudia Augusta linked the Adriatic Sea with Germany. Originally designed as a military road allowing for swift communication and rapid troop movement to the conquered territories in the north, the road would be in continuous use for centuries. A key axis for trade and cultural exchange, it would remain viable in certain stretches right up to the present day, playing a role in the changing fates of both conquerors and the conquered.
A Year in the Clouds*
High in the mountains of Taiwan is the village of Smangus, inhabited by a group of indigenous people, a remnant of the native Austronesian population that dominated the island before Chinese immigrants arrived in the 17th Century. Twenty years ago, the tribe was amongst the poorest on the island. However, the chief, Icyeh Sulung, had a vision of great trees that would ensure the tribe’s survival. The tribe found a forest of cypress trees that were to change their future. The interest from tourists turned Smangus into a thriving eco-tourism center. The sudden wealth and pressures from outside wreaked havoc with the tribe’s unity and the tribe made a fateful decision to ensure their future: everything among them was to be shared. Now, the Public Television Service Taiwan tells the story of Smangus.
Zanzibar Musical Club*
At sunset in the streets of the ancient town, the musical clubs of Zanzibar,on the east coast of Africa, buzz with the joyful sounds of Taarab, the music of Zanzibar, whose style reflects two millennia of cultural exchange between Africa and the Middle East and the island’s place at the crossroads of the spice route. A vehicle of cultural identity and living tradition, the performance of Taarab is intrinsically linked to both the ceremonial and everyday life of the island, which is not far from Mombasa, Kenya, and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, where some of the scenes were filmed. This artfully filmed documentary immerses us in the color, warmth, and diversity of Zanzibar’s little known Muslim culture and the Taarab poets.