History & Biographies
Most impressive war machines
Tanks have been the most crucial weapon of the 20th century. They have revolutionized land warfare.
They are mean machines, fast, precise, capable of shooting whilst rolling, and provide protection for advancing foot soldiers.
This series showcases the most impressive war machines from the 1900s until today in a remarkable combination of high-end special effects, archives, and experts’ testimonies.
BUILDING BASTILLE [52’] or [72’]
A clash of egos
In 1982, newly elected French president Francois Mitterrand decided to build an ultra-modern opera house on the Bastille Place, the symbol of the Revolution. In a blind competition, 750 hopeful firms send designs.
During the formal announcement, the Minister of Culture stutters an unexpected name: Carlos Ott from Canada. No one has heard of him before. So, what happened?
François Mitterrand looks thrilled, unlike his sworn enemy and Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac, who will do everything he can to stop the Bastille Opera in its tracks.
BUILDING BASTILLE [72’] or [52’]
A clash of egos
In 1982, the newly elected French president Francois Mitterrand decided that an ultra-modern opera house would be built on the Bastille Place, a symbol of the Revolution.
In a blind competition, 750 hopeful firms send designs. Word leaks out that the winner will be prominent American architect Richard Meier.
During the formal announcement, the Minister of Culture stutters an unexpected name: Carlos Ott from Canada. No one has heard of him; he certainly is not Richard Meier. What happened?
François Mitterrand looks thrilled, but not so much his sworn enemy and Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac, who did everything to stop the construction of the Bastille Opera.
CASTLE TOWERS IN JAPAN [7x30’]
Symbols of authority
In the age of civil strife in Japan, a castle was a proof of authority for the "daimyo", the feudal lord, and an imposing tower was its symbol.
There are 12 castle towers still remaining Japan after surviving war-torn era, repeatedly restored or rebuilt.
The heart and mind of Real Madrid
Toni Kroos is a phenomenon.
Even though he is the most successful and expensive German football player of all times, you barely notice him on the field or in public. He’s modest, introverted and reserved. Yet, he is the heart and mind of Real Madrid, the biggest football club in the world, where show and spectacle are as important as victory.
From Greifswald to Madrid, this film provides unseen images of the life of this atypical athlete and goes behind the scenes of professional football.
KROOS, THE FAMILY AND FOOTBALL [71’]
An intimate portrait of the media shy star athlete
For over a year, a camera followed famed soccer player Toni Kroos and his closest acquaintances, resulting in an intimate portrait second to none with unparalleled insights into the life of the media shy star.
MASTERS OF REICH [4x52’]
Making silent archives speak
This series gives a new life to silent archives.
It shed new light on WWII and the preceding years by revealing what the masters of the Reich and their acolytes were really saying to each other while being filmed, thinking no one could hear them.
Surprising or trivial, mundane, or astonishing, their words now deciphered give a new perspective on these historical archives and get us closer to the harsh reality of these tragic days.
NORTH KOREA VS USA, A NUCLEAR CHICKEN GAME [52’]
The winning survival strategy of the Kims
In North Korea, the Kims’ communist dynasty has tried to become a nuclear power since the Cold War.
While it kept unrelentingly at its plan, the USA went through 13 Presidents, each with its own vision. This became the Kims' big advantage.
This film is the riveting account of a 60-year deception plan which reached its climax with Trump's historical acknowledgment of the North Korean regime.
RETRO ARCHITECTURE TOWNS [2x30’]
Yokohama and Tokyo have always been business centers and trading bases since the early Meiji period.
Some neighborhoods have kept their historical architecture, making them testimonies of the time passing by, while subjected to the influence of modern western-style buildings.
THE MASTER OF FORTRESSES [52’] or [52’]
Vauban is probably the best military architect and engineer in History.
Endlessly copied around the world, his unique system of fortifications protected France from invasions, making Louis XIV the most powerful monarch of his time.
The Vauban system consisted of an iron belt of 180 fortresses scattered around the country, each of them rivaling in technical ingenuity.
WORLD HERITAGE CANAL [52’]
An architectural wonder and a technical prowess
In the 17th century, Louis XIV financed the digging of a canal connecting the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, the second largest construction of his reign after the Palace of Versailles.
Using the latest technology of its time, the beautifully conceived Canal du Midi is among the oldest functioning canal in Europe and is listed as a Unesco World Heritage site.
1939-1945, THE RAILWAY WORKERS IN THE RESISTANCE [52’]
The key men of the Resistance
During the Second World War, the national railway service was guided by a French state that advocated collaboration with the Nazis. But railway workers were essential to the Resistance. By spreading false information, blowing up railways and organizing sabotage, they greatly hindered the Germans.
Also, thanks to their strike of August 10, 1944, they triggered the popular insurrection that led to the Liberation of Paris.
However, they paid a heavy price for these actions, with several hundred victims in their ranks.
1940, THE DEMARCATION LINE [52’]
A 1,200 kilometers long fracture
Between June 1940 and March 1943, a 1,200-kilometre-long demarcation line splits France in two. In the North, the zone occupied by Hitler's soldiers, in the South, the zone administered by the Vichy regime of Marshal Pétain.
This film lifts the veil on the shameful mistakes of the collaboration but also on the most courageous and noble acts.
1944 LE HAVRE UNDER THE ALLIES’ BOMBS [52’]
A war crime kept under wrap
Three months after D-Day, on a morning of September 1944, people of Normandy woke up in shock.
Despite the German offer to evacuate civilians, Le Havre and its inhabitants had been crushed under British bombs in the deadliest bombardment conducted over France during WWII. The Germans were spared while the city lost 2,000 people.
Did the Allied Forces really need to level a city they came to liberate?
1975, THE NIGHTMARE BEGINS [52’]
The day the Khmer Rouge cleared Phnom Penh
On April 17, 1975, Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is invaded by cohorts of skinny, haggard teenagers, dressed in black and heavily armed.
It is the communist soldiers, dubbed a few years earlier "Khmer Rouge" by King Norodom Sihanouk. They defeated the pro-American supporters of General and Prime Minister Lon Nol after a five-year civil war.
At least 1.7 million people have died in the countryside.
36 QUAI DES ORFEVRES, INVESTIGATIONS AND MEN [52’]
The building that saw the greatest criminals
36 Quai des Orfèvres, in Paris, is a mythical address for having been the headquarter of criminal police. The building is also listed as a historical monument.
Its famous spiral staircase has been climbed by the greatest criminals in history.
The squads have moved to brand new premises, but before leaving the men and women of the 36, those who spent their careers there, share their memories of the cases that still haunt the corridors.
A FIRST LADY'S POOR COUSINS [52’]
We thought we knew everything about the Kennedy family, the life of the clan having fed the press and the cinema for so long.
In the shadow of the famous family members, a tragedy unfolded that was not reported in the media. In the 1970s, Jackie's aunt and cousin made headlines by living in total destitution.
This is the story of two cousins that an accident of fate led one to glory and condemned the other to obscurity.
A HOUSE OF ITS TIME [8x24’]
Asia heritage residences
This architecture series highlights the magnificent residential heritage houses of Asia like the black-and-white houses of colonial Singapore, the joglos in Indonesia, the plantation bungalows in Malaysia, and the country manors in Sri Lanka.
Architects, historians, and conservationists let us in on the building secrets of these houses, while residents share personal life stories within these walls.
A MEDITERRANEAN MILITARY JEWEL [54’]
Six centuries of fortifications
The citadel of Bonifacio, in the south of Corsica, is perched 60 meters above the sea. Constantly under siege throughout its history, the city has had to reinvent constantly its defense system.
Six centuries of titanic work have added multiple layers of fortifications.
This film recounts the construction and superimposition of military works on this Corsican Gibraltar.
A MUSEUM AT WORK [52’]
Descendants of miners
The Louvre-Lens Museum was built on a mine, the site of the former pit 9.
This film tells the story of those who work there, descendants of miners inhabited by their new responsibilitý, men and women of culture mobilized by a common passion.
A STOLEN LIFE [52’]
A huge child trafficking scandal in Spain
Over the span of 40 years, 200,000 to 300,000 babies have been stolen from their parents at birth at birth to be sold to couples in search of children to adopt. These foster parents had to comply with ultra-catholic, conservative right-wing ideology.
This traffic was conducted by doctors and nuns with the help of nurses, lawyers and officials. The silence that covered these crimes broke and tens of thousands of alleged victims are now seeking their natural mothers, children, brothers or sisters. Rallied in associations, they call for truth and justice.
AL QAEDA: WORLD TERRORISM [52’]
The birth of the jihadist movement
The years from 2001 to 2011 have been plagued by Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. But to understand how this former business student from a wealthy Saudi family became the leader of the international jihadist movement, we must go back in time and dive into the various episodes of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
After the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and 9 years of relentless hunting, Osama bin Laden was killed by US commandos in May 2011. Although his death didn’t mean the end of Al-Qaeda it did speed up the decline of an organization challenged by the emergence of ISIS.
ALLENDE, AN IDEOLOGY BEING SHOT DOWN [52’]
2023, the 50th anniversary of the putsch in Chile
In 1970, Salvador Allende became the first elected socialist president in Chile.
Three years later, the coup d'état led by General Pinochet with the support of the United States ended his mandate. Salvador Allende killed himself in his besieged palace. His proposals disrupted a world split into two distinct blocks. Allende was a nuisance and his vision unwelcome.
This film is a thriller, an investigation between the present and the past to understand what remains of his vision.
ALOIS BRUNNER, THE COMPULSIVE NAZI [52’]
An elusive war criminal
Alois Brunner was personally responsible for the deaths of 130,000 Jews all over Europe, from the Baltic States to Austria, right up to the last moments of the Third Reich.
At the war's end, he escaped the Allied forces and became one of the most wanted Nazi war criminals.
Despite international pressure, the tracking down of "Nazi hunters", and the involvement of the Israeli secret service, who tried several times to have him extradited or to put an end to his life, he remained hidden and protected by the Syrian regime until his death, which is said to have occurred in 2001.
ANDREE PUTMAN, THE GRAND LADY OF DESIGN [52’]
She built bridges between different art worlds
Andrée Putman, an internationally renowned stylist, and interior designer has left an indelible mark on the world of design.
She embodies "the chic Parisian woman, always impeccable, who leaves nothing to chance", said her daughter Olivia, who took over from her.
This film looks back at the career and legacy of this icon.
ANGELA MERKEL, 3 DAYS IN SEPTEMBER [52’]
The migrants crisis
On the first weekend of September 2015, Angela Merkel decided to let the refugees and asylum seekers who were stuck in Budapest enter Germany. Her aim was to prevent a humanitarian crisis that was looming.
Did Angela Merkel have a choice?
What factors triggered this influx of migrants?
Has their situation improved today?
ANGELA MERKEL, A LEGACY THROUGH TIME [90’]
16 years at the helm of Germany
Angela Merkel embodied Germany for almost two decades carrying an image of stability and rationality. What are the secrets of her longevity?
Born in East Germany, she started as a biologist and, eventually, became the most powerful woman on the planet. In this film, Angela Merkel herself gives a unique insight into her career.
Barack Obama, Theresa May, Christine Lagarde, and many other world leaders who have worked with her shed new light on one extraordinary woman.
ANGELA MERKEL, THE UNEXPECTED [52’] or [90’]
The world's most powerful woman
Angela Merkel is often described as the new Iron Lady and referred to as “mother”. But who is this woman? What are the facts behind her story?
Interviews with childhood friends, long time companions, business executives and global political leaders reveal how the East German daughter of a protestant pastor worked her way up to become the most powerful woman on the planet.
Her modesty combined with strong will and strategic approach left many to underestimate Angela Merkel and thus paving the way for her rise to power.
Also available as a 90'
APOCALYPSE THE SECOND WORLD WAR [6x52’]
The most devastating war of all times
APOCALYPSE tells the story of this defining conflict through the often tragic destinies of those who lived it, the soldiers, those who suffered from it, the civilians, and those who conducted it, the political and military leaders.
The “horrible yet familiar” war led to the deaths of 50 million men and women across the world, with, for the first time, as many civilian victims as military ones.
APOCALYPSE includes the most recent historical research and thanks to never previously released images, the series touches on unfamiliar aspects of this conflict, with a true worldwide perspective.
APOCALYPSE WWI [5x52’]
Hell on earth
How did the Great War, which was so disastrous for humanity, become possible?
How did the men, women, and children of the warring countries live through this conflict?
APOCALYPSE: STALIN [3x52’]
A cruel and fascinating personality
Bolshevik, professional revolutionary, gangster, terrorist, mass murderer…
Who really is the “Man of Steel” who became, after defeating Hitler, both the most feared and admired man on the planet? How did he manage to rise to power by spreading terror, secrecy and propaganda?
APOCALYPSE: THE BATTLE OF VERDUN [2x45’]
A 300 days nightmare
This film commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Verdun through compelling narration and colorized archive footage.
The battle raged for 300 days in hellish conditions over an area of 100 square kilometres. In terms of strategic objectives, it achieved nothing. In the course of those 300 days, 700,000 men were killed, wounded or reported missing in action.
Also available in 90'
APOCALYPSE: THE NEVER ENDING WAR [2x45’]
After the Great War
1918 is a time of chaos, conflicts and precarious equilibrium. Survivors from the Great War have lost everything. As the world reels and tries to right itself, misery and uncertainty give rise to nationalism and the evil forces of totalitarianism.
Will peace ever come?
Also available as 90'
APOCALYPSE: THE RISE OF HITLER [2x52’]
The roots of the banality of evil
Using exclusive historical revelations and never seen footage all colorized, this is the story of the origins that captures the roots of the banality of evil.
Built like a criminal investigation around Hitler, these films retrace the irresistible rise of an outsider at the head of Germany.
From blindness and ignorance was born one of the greatest dictators of the century.
APOCALYPSE: WAR OF WORLDS [3x52’]
The rise of the Cold War
The period between 1945 and 1991 was defined by the confrontation of two worlds and two systems. The capitalist West, dominated by the ever-powerful United States, was pitted against the communist East, the Soviet Empire with both sides possessing the ultimate weapon, the nuclear bomb.
This terrifying balance of fear paradoxically ensured a half-century of peace and prosperity in the West.
There were many heated moments during this Cold War, with Asia being the chosen ground for these superpowers to confront each other through proxies engaged in merciless battles.
ARCHEOLOGEEKS IN BAGAN [45’]
Bringing a universal heritage back to life
Some buildings, sites, and structures are historical wonders. Their very names are legendary and their stories epic and surprising.
Yet, these treasures are threatened by wars, financial pressure, property developers, and climate hazards.
Today, a new breed of archeologists is using modern technologies to bring this universal heritage back to life, turning them into "archeologeeks". They make the impossible possible by bringing these hidden treasures back to life.
ARTHUR MILLER, A MAN OF HIS CENTURY [60’]
One of the greatest playwrights
Born in New York in 1915, Arthur Miller has created over the course of seven decades some of the most memorable stage plays in the world of literature, becoming one of the greatest playwrights of the century. He never stopped to be curious and was always pushing his own limits.
This is a portrait of a fascinating man who, by marrying Marilyn Monroe, turned into a real American icon as their couple embodied glamour, success, and love in the 20th century.
BECOMING CHANEL [52’]
The story of a myth
Chanel's first outlet, established in 1910, was a hat shop. Indeed, Coco Chanel was forbidden to sell clothes there because a seamstress had her business at that same address.
Today, Chanel is one of the world's most famous luxury brands. Emblematic of high-end French fashion, its international appeal has not wavered for more than a century.
How did this woman, born at the end of the 19th century into a destitute family, become this mythical figure?
BECOMING DE GAULLE [52’]
A visionary from an early age
General Charles de Gaulle is a multi-faceted man. There is the savior, a leading figure in French history during WWII. There is the intimate man, the one who cuddled his trisomic daughter, loved the simplicity of family life and always in need of Yvonne, the woman of his life.
And then there is the lesser known side of the man, a visionary even from an early age.
This film tells the story of young Charles becoming General de Gaulle, the many challenges he imposed on himself. The story begins on November 22, 1890, and ends on June 18, 1940, in London.
BLACK NIGHT IN PARIS [52’] or [90’]
An indelible trauma
Police officers, first-aid workers and victims tell us about the course of events which occurred in the fatal evening of November 13, 2015.
We follow each stage of this murderous night from the attacks at the Stade de France, the shootings at the terraces of bars and restaurants in the 11th district to the bloodbath at the Bataclan. 3D images help understand the events and their preparation.
The film also looks at Salah Abdeslam's arrest in Molenbeek, Belgium, and the attack on Brussels airport which shed new light on the terrorist networks operating between France and Belgium.
Allso available as a 90'
BLACK SEPTEMBER, MUNICH OLYMPICS '72 - THE ATTACK [90’]
A page of history and sports written in blood
At dawn, on the 11th day of the XX Olympic Games in Munich, in 1972, 8 Palestinians of the terrorist group Black September climbs over the fence surrounding the Olympic village heading towards the Israeli team’s quarter.
What happens thereafter is history; 11 Israeli athletes, 1 German policeman, and 5 terrorists die in a bloodbath. The Munich massacre not only shocks the whole world but also launches a new era of international terrorism.
This intense and gripping film provides entirely new perspectives and insights into this tragic event with never-before-seen footage of the victims and of the negotiations with the terrorists.
BLOOD AND TOIL [52’]
A precious fluid on the beaches of D-Day
In June 1944, the Allied Forces landed on the coast of Normandy. The holds and refrigerators of their vessels contained tens of thousands of litres of a precious fluid that was emblematic of the war effort: human blood.
This incredible armada was also the greatest operation of blood transfusion in history. For the first time, an extraordinary logistics chain allowed hundreds of thousands of blood donations carried out in New York and London to be transfused one week later to American or British soldiers on Normandy beaches.
BLUM-PETAIN, DUEL UNDER GERMAN OCCUPATION [52’]
Politics in the time of war
This film tells the story of the confrontation between Léon Blum, leader of the Popular Front, and Philippe Pétain, head of the French state.
When the former is arrested on September 15, 1940, accused of being responsible for the defeat of France, Hitler tolerates this situation as long as it serves his interests.
An outstanding orator and jurist, Léon Blum turns the situation around during his trial by attacking the choices made by Pétain.
BOKASSA THE FIRST, AN AFRICAN EMPEROR [52’]
A story of blood and megalomania
Jean-Bedel Bokassa, a former captain of the French army, became Bokassa Emperor of the Central African Republic after a lavish and indecent coronation applauded by France.
Was this man, who was the first in Africa to appoint a woman Prime Minister, anything but a sinister and bloodthirsty puppet? Without rehabilitating the dictator, this film takes a more nuanced appproach with new testimonies. The man who was accused of cannibalism could sometimes be generous and human, but more often ridiculous, cruel and whimsical.
Jean-Bedel Bokassa is above all an extreme illustration of the excesses of the post-colonial relationship between France and its former African possessions.
BREATH OF FREEDOM [90’]
A paradoxical chapter in American history
At the end of World War II, African-American GIs were stationed in Germany as part of a policy to help rid the country of racism and oppression.
That was pretty ironic since strict segregation prevailed in their own country, even in the US army.
Seen by the German people as representatives of a victorious power, these African-American GIs found themselves in a foreign country experiencing for the first time what it feels like to be treated as equals.
BRIGITTE MACRON, A FRENCH SAGA [2x45’]
The secret side of France's First Lady
Who really is the First Lady of France? A woman in the shadows? A key element in the dazzling rise of her President husband?
She made a name for herself in the political world by becoming the candidate’s agent during the presidential campaign and assuming absolute control over the use of his image. Brilliant, analytical and lucid, she leaves nothing to chance.
The couple, whose age difference is 24 years, is a boon for the media and now a major brand worldwide.
BUTTERFLY EFFECT [26x26’]
A grain of sand can change the course of History
Where would we be today without Copernicus or Darwin? What would Europe look like if Churchill had not entered the war against the Nazis, or if the fall of the Berlin Wall had not happened?
A grain of sand can change the course of history and this series tells these tiny occurrences.
Each episode is an invitation to relive past events through spectacular reconstructions and the most innovative computer graphics.
BY THE DEVIL'S GRACE [52’]
A whole family survives the horror of Auschwitz
Countless Jewish families were deported to the extermination camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, very few survive without having lost one member. The Ovitz family was one of them.
The Ovitz were affected by a special kind of dwarfism. As the largest family of persons of short stature in Europe, they were famous performance artists known as "the Compania Lilliput". During their captivity in Auschwitz-Birkenau, they became the favorite "guinea pigs" of Josef Mengele, the Angel of Death.
Here is the story of their remarkable destiny in the hell of the Holocaust.
CANNES 1968, WHEN THE FESTIVAL WAS CANCELLED [55’]
Suspense, revolt and stars
"I'm talking to you about solidarity with students and workers and you're talking to me about traveling and close-ups! ». Jean-Luc Godard, May 1968.
That year, the most interesting film in Cannes was the one that took place outside the theaters.
Featuring numerous archives and unreleased testimonies, this film recounts the aborted edition of the 1968 Cannes Film Festival.
CARNAC, LOOKING FOR THE LOST KINGDOM [52’]
The mystery of the menhirs
In Brittany, France, the multitude of menhirs continues to confound archaeologists.
The most recent scientific research has identified dozens of new alignments of stelae, some of which lie under the sea. In the Neolithic period, why did men erect these gigantic funerary monuments to the glory of dignitaries as powerful as the Pharaohs?
From often tenuous clues, experts try to reveal the mysteries that still shroud these sites and this unique society that shone and disappeared suddenly.
CHAMBORD, WILDLIFE FOR ALL SEASON [52’]
Beyond architectural feat
In the early 16th century, King François I of France decided to erect his palace on an inhospitable patch of swampy hunting grounds.
That daunting architectural feat provided the stage for key historical events and figures (Leonardo da Vinci, Louis XIV, the French Revolution, World War II...).
But the true treasure of Chambord is beyond its stone walls, in a wooded expanse the size of Paris with its varied and exceptional wildlife.
CHAPLIN VS THE FBI [52’]
A 30 years feud
One wants to protect America from the Red peril, the other wants to entertain it and denounce its injustices.
Convinced that Charlie Chaplin was in Moscow's pay, J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI's big boss, kept spying on him for 30 years.
Cold war and low blows were natural parts of this merciless hunt. A dive into the troubled waters of a paranoid America.
CHARLES III, THE MAKING OF A MONARCH [43’]
The man under the crown
After the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, just shy of his 73rd birthday, has become the British King.
The life of the Prince of Wales has been marked by ups and downs. As a child, he was said to have suffered from his strict upbringing at boarding school intended to prepare him for his role as future king.
He is also known to be involved in numerous charities, especially those working with disadvantaged young people.
CHILDREN OF TEREZIN [52’]
An opera in a concentration camp
In 1943, children in the Terezin concentration camp were cast in an opera, a thinly veiled satire about Hitler. Among them was Ela Weissberger, one of the only survivors of that very unusual camp which was a theater for Nazi propaganda.
Decades later, Ela tells this story. A little-known, remarkable tale rich in content: the history of the camp, the opera, Ela’s life and memories of survivors.
CHRISTIAN DIOR: THE REFINEMENT OF A LOST PARADISE [52’]
The creator of the New Look
In 1947, an unknown becomes famous overnight in the fashion world.
Christian Dior has just invented the "New Look", a clothing line that gives a new shape to women. Within a decade, the designer will not only revolutionize fashion but also defines it up to today: the globalization of brands, supermodels...
For Christian Dior, everything is linked to his childhood in Granville, France. A lost paradise found in the garden and the house of his parents’ villa.
CHRONICLES OF A CITY [5x52’]
From the Middle Ages to the present day
From the Middle Ages to the present day, this series makes us discover 5 cities steeped in history through their foundation, their struggles and their successes, and the characters who have marked them.
CITY IN A GARDEN [4x23’]
Life lessons in nature
This series celebrates the Singapore Botanic Gardens as a living heritage. It features stories of people with rich life experiences and connected, in one way or another, with the Gardens.
Their personal stories are inspiring, uplifting, joyful, life-changing, filled with reminiscence and, most importantly, worth retelling for the important lessons they impart.
CIVILIZATIONS' LEGACY [8x52’]
Decoding the stones
Today’s world is etched in yesterday’s stones. The story of humanity is craddled in some few seminal civilizations.
Based on archeological and historical research as well as contemporary social, economic and political information, this collection of stand-alone episodes offers a new vision of History. It establishes links between the past and the present that will surprise, entertain and educate at the same time.
Understanding the present by digging the past, such is the purpose of CIVILISATIONS’ LEGACY.
A story of hopes, dreams, trials and tribulations
At the beginning of the 19th century, coal became the fuel of choice and in a short time turned once poor agricultural countries, such as Germany, England and France, into rich and powerful industrial nations.
The story of bituminous coal is also one of courageous men, visionaries, and of secrets.
This two-part film follows the trail of these people and how they changed our world. How did the miners live? What dangers did they face? What is hidden behind the disastrous mining accidents?
DA VINCI UNFULFILLED DREAM [52’]
The master's uncompleted architectural capstone
In his last years, Leonardo Da Vinci started to work on his ultimate masterpiece: the plans of an extravagant royal palace in Romorantin, a village that was meant to become the new capital of France. Preliminary work began but the building never got off the ground.
On the basis of Leonardo’s drawings, this film takes us to London, Milan and Romorantin. With the help of the best specialists it achieves the unthinkable: the CGI reconstitution of what should have been the ideal city as imagined from the great Italian genius.
DENISOVA UNVEILED [52’]
A third human species
In 2008, during excavations in Siberia, a team of Russian archaeologists unearthed a small human bone. However, genetic analysis reveals some surprising conclusions: it belonged indeed to a prehistoric man, but it was neither that of a Homo Sapiens nor of a Neanderthal.
It is linked to a third, previously unknown, human species, which is named Denisova, after the cave where it was discovered.
Scientific expeditions followed, from Europe to Tibet to Papua New Guinea, to answer the question: who was the Denisova Man?
The memorable characters of History
Some lives are synonymous with times gone by and to recount them is to bring these worlds back to life.
This series retraces the destinies of the greatest figures in history and takes us back to the eras they left their mark on.
DIM, THE GLAMOROUS HISTORY [52’]
Women's liberation through hosiery
The story of Dim is not only an incredible industrial adventure but also about how glamour made its way into advertising, the evolution of fashion, dress codes, and women’s liberation.
Beyond the pictures of gorgeous legs wearing Dim hosiery, this film also tells the moving story of Bernard Giberstein, the founder of the brand.
The voices or Arabic music
The "golden age" of culture in the Arab world, which lasted from the 1920s to the 1970s, saw women play a crucial role. They took over music, song, cinema, literature, the radio, and the press, and thrilled and enthralled diverse peoples, from Baghdad to Casablanca.
These women, some of whom remain giants in their own right, are symbols of a bygone era but also models and sources of inspiration for many contemporary Arab artists.
DYING FOR FRANCE 1914-1918 [52’]
The soldiers from the French colonies
Summer of 1914, the Great War breaks out. It sets the world on fire. The conflict will mobilize millions of men on the battlefield for four years.
Among them were soldiers from the French colonies, even the most distant ones: Senegal, Madagascar, Indochina....
Today, historians are shedding new light on these long-forgotten fighters.
DYING FOR FRANCE 1939-1945 [52’]
The faraway soldiers
The deadliest conflict in history is unleashed in September 1939 by Nazi Germany.
For six years, the whole of Europe is at war. Millions of men are being mobilized coming from as far away as Morocco, Senegal, Madagascar and Tunisia.
EAST GERMANY'S LAST DANCE [52’]
The last anniversary of the German Democratic Republic
This film focusses on the 40th and last anniversary of the German Democratic Republic on October 7, 1989.
For Honecker and his politbureau, this day was supposed to be a show of power, success and vitality of the socialist state. However, during the celebrations, the people of East Germany gathered and all over the country large demonstrations took place against the regime. It became the day when the GDR started crumbling and the entire Eastern bloc with it. Only a month later the Berlin Wall would fall.
On this very day, the Cold War order unraveled and a different Europe emerged.
ECHOES OF HISTORY [45x26’]
Events that shaped the countries of the Mediterranean
This series looks back at the democratic mechanisms that shaped the Mediterranean countries in the 20th century through the deeds of emblematic characters.
Each episode sheds light on the fragility of these regimes and the precariousness of the democratic gains that we take for granted.
EGYPT, A DREAM FOR ARCHAEOLOGISTS [85’]
The latest unearthed treasures
For the first time, the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology, based in Egypt, opens its doors and reveals the latest treasures unearthed by its teams.
In the heart of the Saqqarah necropolis, Vassil Dobrev studies a group of tombs belonging to priests of the Old Kingdom; Michel Wuttmann and Béatrix Midant-Reynes reveal the secrets of ancient bronze statuettes and of the first Egyptians who lived more than five millennia ago.
ELIZABETH II: A QUEEN’S REVOLUTION [52’] or [90’]
A decade of turmoil
Queen Elizabeth had the longest reign. However, some years back the sacred duty of the Queen could have come to a sudden end when she went through a decade of unprecedented turmoil. The crown faltered.
To escape from a trap that History has laid for her, the Queen had to evolve, renounce the principles that had ruled her life until then, and overcome her royal distance
ERDOGAN THE RISE TO ABSOLUTE POWER [52’]
The new Sultan of the Middle East
In just a few years, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has achieved the tour de force of becoming the strong man of the Middle East and a key diplomatic partner for Brussels and Washington, but also the unchallenged ruler of a Turkey in complete disarray.
The attempted coup on July 15, 2016, left him even more powerful and more determined than ever to rule alone and indefinitely.
This film tells the story of the slow transformation of a man. Once democratic and pro-European, he is now a reactionary head of state with autocratic aims. From the abrupt cessation of Turkey’s EU accession talks in 2010 to the colossal purges destabilizing the country, we witness the implementation of a ruthless strategy aimed at making the Turkish president the new Sultan of the Middle East.
EXPEDITION PETRA, FOLLOWING THE INCENSE ROAD [52’]
A people who keeps all their mysteries
Archeologist Laïla Nehmé is leading a expedition in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and Jordan to map out the exact incense trade road.
This unprecedented investigation, in the form of a road movie, explores the civilization of the Nabateans, the masters of the desert. Who were they? How did they manage to build such a powerful kingdom? What was their religion, their beliefs? How did they live?
Thanks to the latest discoveries made in Hegra and Petra, the capital of the kingdom, we gain a better understanding of this still very mysterious people.
FACE TO FACE [16x52’]
Their rivalry has often changed society
This is a series of comparative portraits featuring 2 well-known figures, seen through the prism of their rivalry. Adversaries, opponents, the best or worst of enemies... They have all been groundbreaking leaders in their fields: politics, science, technology, economy or the arts.
For each of them, their opposition became a driving-force and a constant challenge. The scale and scope of their contention went far beyond mere personal antagonism, and the results of their confrontation have often changed society and deeply impacted our lives.
FIFTEEN YEARS OF TERROR [2x52’]
Terrorism recent history
In 15 years, from the 9/11 attacks against the World Trade Center to those in Paris in November 2015, dramatic and deadly strikes have been targeting Western countries like never before and have changed the face of the world. In between these two major events, the aggressions and victims kept piling up.
How and why did we go from a terrorist group like Al Qaeda to an even crazier and bloodthirsty one like ISIS? Who are these terrorists? What is radical Islam? Why do they target our democracies?
From Afghanistan to Western societies, through Syria and Iraq, this film investigates the recent history of terrorism.
FOR THE LOVE OF JERUSALEM [100’]
The cradle of the three major monotheistic religions
Jerusalem is the cradle of the three major monotheistic religions. For Judaism, it is the site of the city of David and King Solomon's temple, which housed the Ark of the Covenant. For Christianity, this is where Jesus was crucified and later resurrected. For Islam, it is the starting point of the Prophet Mohammed's ascent to heaven.
Every year, the city welcomes more than three million pilgrims who rub shoulders with the 800,000 inhabitants.
For more than 3,000 years, Jerusalem has been a mosaic of cultures at the heart of many issues.
FORBIDDEN PARIS: UNDERGROUND MEGASTRUCTURES [52’]
Beneath the City of Lights
Everyone has heard about Paris and its architectural treasures. But the City of Lights has many secrets yet to be discovered. Indeed, under its pavement, the French capital hides megastructures that are mysterious, dangerous and unknown to the public.
These underground constructions are unique and essential for the city and represented huge challenges for their builders.
A journey into the construction of Paris' foundations.
FRANCE UNDER THE ALLIED BOMBS [3x52’]
Unnecessary civilian casualties
After 4 years of Nazi occupation, the French welcomed the liberation by the allied forces. Immediately afterwards, they focused entirely on the reconstruction of the country, occulting the dark years of the war.
But as time went by, and thanks to historical research, questions began to emerge. Indeed, French cities were heavily bombed by the allied aviation, but was the sacrifice of the civilian population really necessary? Were there strategic mistakes and why were they not acknowledged?
Through the tragic destiny of 3 cities (Le Havre, Royan and Rouen), this collection opens a dark and still little known page of WWII.
FRANCE, A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME [52’]
Making past and present collide
Imagine traveling back in time: the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris encircled by a mysterious tropical mangrove swamp; the Loire valley rising from a forgotten lagoon; the Mont Saint Michel looming over a smoking volcanic plain.
This spectacular production shows how the wonders of modern France are rooted in its fabulous past. None of the marvels that make the country famous today could have existed without those primal origins.
Using cinematic compositing and matte painting techniques, the present and past collide in a unique film.
FRANCOIS MITTERRAND ARCHITECT OF MYSTERIES [52’]
An innovative and unexpected policy of large public works
In 14 years of the French presidency, François Mitterrand commissioned 11 major works like the Grande Arche de la Défense, the Opéra Bastille, and the Louvre Pyramid.
Initially, nothing was planned in his campaign promises. His policy of large public works was innovative and unexpected.
Did the former President take himself for Louis XIV? Was there a mystical dimension in the making of these pharaonic monuments? Was this believer in spiritual forces anxious to leave a trace?
GASTRONOMY OF OUR ANCESTORS (THE) [5x52’]
Banquets of bygone days
5 renowned chefs, in 5 different places, delve into the cuisine of their ancestors through the organization of a banquet.
They reconnect with their roots while presenting places full of History and tradition.
GERHARD SCHRODER, DRUM UP YOUR COURAGE [52’]
The man who revived Germany
When Gerhard Schröder came to power, his country was depicted as the sickman of Europe. His actions -which often turned the back to his social-democrat roots- still explain today the division inside the society, the increasing divergence between east and west, rich and poor, politics and society. It cost him his reelection, a risk he was willing to take. But the radical changes he imposed helped Germany to regain its status.
Through hard work and discipline, Gerhard Schröder rose from humble origin to become one of the most powerful men in Germany.
Today his political savvy and expertise are sought after in a world increasingly dominated by populist leaders and autocratic states.
GERMAN DYNASTIES [4x45’]
This series is about 4 iconic families who came to define the country and how they managed to preserve their heritage over several generations.
These names are an entry into the world of the rich and famous, through their social influence, the size of their wealth and their interaction with the economics and politics powers that be.
However, many prominent members of these families have face failures despite their famous ancestry.
GIANT VIRUS [52’]
Could mankind be descending from a giant virus?
Mimivirus (for microbe mimicking virus) is the first member of a family of unsuspected organisms, some vastly different from each other, all astonishing by their sizes, genes, and ‟performances” - one of them has survived 30,000 years in the Siberian permafrost.
These giant viruses seem to fill the gap between the viral and the living cell worlds. Do they represent a new branch of life on our planet? Were their distant ancestors living creatures? And could these ancestors have been at the very origin of all the eukaryotes, which we are part of? In other words: could mankind be descending from a giant virus?
A field of new research is opening with this film dedicated to a new animal species.
GOODBYE MOUBARAK! [72’]
A revolution in progress
On January 25, 2011, the Egyptian people rose up. Suddenly, the entire world was taken aback. In only 18 days, the popular rebellion caused the fall of Mubarak’s regime.
Yet, three months earlier, anger was already brewing beneath the surface. Outraged by the illegitimacy and widespread fraud of the 2010 legislative elections, the street was biding its time. A few weeks later, it only took the spark wafting over from Tunisia to set ablaze the powder keg. Everything was already in place to mark a new page in Egyptian history.
GURLITT AND THE SECRET OF THE NAZI TREASURE [52’]
A suspicious art collection
In 2010, while crossing the Swiss-German border, an old man catches the attention of two German tollkeepers. In his luggage, they find 9,000 Euros in hard cash. The man is called Cornelius Gurlitt, 79 years old at that time. Authorities decide to keep an eye on him.
What investigators find in his Munich apartment exceeds all expectations: a giant art collection consisting of more than 1,000 pieces of art from different eras. The collection was passed on to Gurlitt by his father, Hildebrand, an art dealer during the Nazi era.
Can these paintings be looted art taken from Jewish families by the Nazis?
HEROES OF THE FRENCH LIBERATION [52’]
Leading the path to German capitulation
This film tells the daily life of the men and women who wrote history, notably through the epic story of two armies during WWII: the 2nd Armored Division, commanded by General Leclerc, and the 1st Army, commanded by General de Lattre de Tassigny.
We relive the advance of these armies until the German capitulation.
HIDDEN HISTORY OF FIFA WORLD CUP [2x52’]
Human passions exacerbated
Since 1930, every FIFA World Cup has been delivering litttle known stories of human passions: old rivalries, past conflicts, power struggles, lust for power and control.
The real people behind the events recount how what happened was much more than mere football.
HISTORY GREATEST LIES [15x52’]
Whatever it takes
Heads of state, politicians, or military leaders have no qualms about lying on the radio or television to millions of people and, even under oath, to the highest authorities and institutions. They use secret services or communications agencies to make their lies more credible.
Lies are not just a matter of words or silence. They entail practical acts as well as technical support. Whole teams are sometimes necessary to construct believable illusions. In State affairs, all and every means can be used to conceal an operation.
For some in the service of a nation, lying just means reinventing the world.
HITLER AND THE FORTRESSES OF THE ATLANTIC [70’]
Reconquering strategic locations
February 1945. The war is over in eastern France but in the West, entrenched in six fortresses built along the coast, the 75,000-strong German troops are ordered to keep fighting at all costs, even if it means destroying entire towns and sacrificing the lives of thousands of people.
On 14 April, General de Larminat, appointed by de Gaulle, launches the Atlantic campaign to recapture these strategic locations from the enemy.
This little-known episode took place around the end of the war.
HITLER'S CHAMPIONS [2x52’]
When sport becomes a political weapon
As soon as the Nazis came to power, they perverted sporting and Olympic values into a tool for showcasing the "new man" who was supposed to be faster and stronger. Germany had to prove its racial superiority in all disciplines, whatever it took.
This film portrays the criss-crossing fates of the greatest German athletes during the Third Reich.
Their success was a matter of national importance to the Nazi regime, and the 1936 Olympics were the apotheosis of their efforts.
HITLER'S MEIN KAMPF, A DANGEROUS BOOK [52’]
Why do the author's thoughts remain so fascinating?
The State of Bavaria prohibited MEIN KAMPF at the end of World War II.
In 2016, 70 years after the death of his author, the book entered the public domain.
Several questions arise. Why does the book remain so dangerous? Why do Hitler’s thoughts remain so fascinating? In today’s world, is it wise to reprint MEIN KAMPF?
I BETRAYED HITLER [52’]
They changed the course of History
Thanks to a spy recruited by the French counter-intelligence services, operating in Germany and after adventures that seem taken from a John le Carré‘s novel, the Allies won the war against Hitler 2 years earlier than expected.
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GEORGE CHINNERY [52’]
The painter in mid-19th century China
George Chinnery was one of the first and most notable European artists to live in Southern China prior to the arrival of photography. His sketches, watercolors, and oil paintings are held in private collections and museums worldwide.
This film depicts the life and works of the English painter during his years in Macao in the mid-19th century.
The artist’s work vividly captures the Chinese culture and the way of life for expatriates in the Far East during the China Trade and Opium War years from 1825 to 1860.
IN THE SECRET OF THE NILE QUEENS [110’]
Bigger than the pharaohs
The queens of ancient Egypt have crossed the centuries while remaining enigmas to most archaeologists and Egyptologists
Cleopatra, Nefertiti, Nefertari, or Hatshepsut have left a much stronger mark on our imagination than the great pharaohs, and yet the elements at our disposal to really know them are scarce.
This fantastic journey takes us from Giza to Luxor and from Tel El Amarna to Meroe.
ISIS: TERRORISM 2.0 [52’]
How did the World let it emerge?
On November 13, 2015, a new terrorist organization strikes at the heart of a major Western capital: Paris. The toll is terrible giving ISIS an overnight and sinister fame.
What is this terrorist group? Who are its men? Why going after France and the West? How did we let such a monster corner a huge swath of land and thus gain unmatched power? Why is it attracting so many youngsters around the world?
This exceptional film sheds light on the emergence and expansion of a new and disturbing phenomenon: 2.0 terrorism.
IT’S ALL IN LEBANON [52’]
Pop culture and civil war
After 17 years of civil war between Christians and Muslims, the Israeli invasion, the Syrian occupation, 20,000 victims, Lebanese thought it was finally over. But 20 years after the official end of the war, Lebanon is still not a cohesive nation.
Somehow, this film shows how peace has never really settled. Indeed, the main protagonists of past conflicts have been using popular culture, propaganda, music, celebrated war heroes even pin-ups to foster their causes.
JESSE OWENS - LUZ LONG: AN EVERLASTING FRIENDSHIP [52’]
The paragon of the olympic spirit
Berlin. August 1936. Jesse Owens, the black American, and Luz Long, the image of the perfect Aryan, compete in the Olympic Games under the watchul eyes of Adolf Hitler, who is eagerly expcting the triumph of his favorite athlete.
But during the event, the two athletes put aside their differences and the ideals they represent to face off in the tradition of the Olympic spirit. Luz Long even advises his nemesis during the qualifying rounds of the long jump that Jesse Owens finally wins.
Thanks to archival images associated with reenactments of the long jump event, testimonies from the descendants of the two athletes, sportsmen and historians, this film sheds new light on the 1936 Olympic Games, a decisive event that heralded the greatest tragedy of the 20th century.
KASHMIR, ASIA'S FORGOTTEN POWDER KEG [52’]
The oldest ongoing conflict in the world
On the far reaches of the Himalayas, the Kashmir conflict pits India against Pakistan, two countries that each possess nuclear weapons.
Over 70 years of war, unstable peace and aborted dialogue, this area, where Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism mix, has become one of the most militarized in the world.
KIA MATE Ā URUROA, THE INCREDIBLE LIFE OF CAPT. HARDING LEAF MC [52’]
A Maori goes to war
Captain Harding Leaf was a charismatic, larger-than-life soldier and natural leader who served in both World War One and Two. What set him apart was the incredible fighting spirit of his warrior ancestors. Indeed, he was a New Zealand Maori. For his heroic acts of bravery at Gallipoli and on the Western Front in France he was awarded the Military Cross by King George.
However, he could be undisciplined and was in trouble more than once for striking British officers who made racist remarks. But he was too good a soldier to be dismissed or demoted.
Harding Leaf enlisted again in WW2, at the age of 50 and was killed in action in the Battle of Crete in 1941.
KIM JONG-IL: THE FORBIDDEN BIOGRAPHY [52’]
A hazardous handover
Kim-Jong Il was the most secretive political leader on earth. A grotesque dictator with a finger on the nuclear trigger.
Starting from a personality profile of this schizophrenic dictator through exclusive testimonies, this film offers a geopolitical analysis of the Korean peninsula based on first hand Russian, Chinese and Korean archive footage and exposes a totalitarian dictatorship which gave birth to the first communist dynasty in History.
A must needed portrait of a leader whose nuclear gambit has been taken over by his equally enigmatic son Kim Jong Un.
KIM JONG-UN: THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY [52’]
The heir to the first communist dynasty in History
He is the living God of the 9th nuclear power of the world. He is a Western educated young man and a basketball fan but raised in secrecy to take over the commands of the North Korean regime, the first communist dynasty in history. From him we only have amusing, absurd and sometimes terrifying images distillated by the Pyongyang propaganda.
This investigation carried out in Switzerland, the USA and Asia found those who really knew Kim Jong-un and tries to profile the new leader.
This red prince has many startling secrets and his ambiguous personality now impacts the future of the world as we witness the arm wrestling between North Korea and the USA.
LADY SAPIENS [52’]
The very first women
Who were the women of prehistory? What role did they play in their societies and families?
This film sets off on the trail of these women and examines the latest discoveries in the area, with sometimes conflicting views from scientists.
Precursor of Charles Darwin
Born in 1744, Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine Monnet de Lamarck was enthralled by the science of life.
He studied not only botany but also physics, chemistry, meteorology, and even hydrogeology.
Unfortunately, his ideas did not appeal to his contemporaries. It took the writings of Charles Darwin to bring his work to light.
LE LURON ON THE CAMPAIGN [90’]
The pioneer of today's impersonators
Thierry Le Luron has mocked, mimicked, and even caricatured to perfection the politicians of his time, starting with several heads of state. While some took it in stride, others were vexed to the point of sending him tax inspectors.
He has also lent his voice to the imitation of famous singers, using his own words, sometimes fierce but always inspired by current events.
He is the pioneer of today's impersonators.
LEGENDS OF EUROPE [12x52’]
Mystical and fantasy tales
This series takes a new, almost magical look at European heritage driven by a newfound interest in the fantastic dimension of its age-old legends. Whether frightening or surprising, these stories, inspired by natural splendors are, at once, mystical and obscure enigmas to decipher.
Pirates, satanic beasts, enchanted forests, petrified shepherds, bewitched lakes, amphibian monsters, or captive princesses are the heroes of this saga which, from North to South and from East to West, takes a new look at Europe.
LEGENDS OF FRANCE [12x52’]
A magical look at the French regional heritage
This series takes a different, magical look at the French regional heritage by responding to a new fascination for the fantastic dimension of our age-old legends.
Whether frightening or surprising, these stories, inspired by the natural splendors of the landscapes of France, are as many mystical and obscure enigmas to decipher.
Corsairs, satanic beasts, enchanted forests, petrified shepherds, bewitched lakes, amphibian monsters, or captive princesses, are the heroes of this saga which, from North to South and from East to West, takes a new perspective on France.
LIBERTY TRAIN, NEXT STOP: FREEDOM [90’]
An exceptional exodus from East to West
Exclusive archive footage, reenactments and interviews tell the exceptional story of an exodus that started right before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Starting from Prague, crossing East-Germany to settle in Germany, these refugees were the forerunners of a yet to unfold world-shaking event.
This film tell their exhausting train journey through communist countries towards the treacherous border of West-Germany and, from there, into a new life in the western world.
LOG TRAIN TO PARIS [52’]
No wood, no ovens. No ovens, no bread. No bread... riots.
For more than 3 centuries, from 1547 to 1923, the forests of the Morvan region of France sent timber down the rivers to Paris. This vital source of energy was controlled by powerful wood merchants. The stakes were indeed high: without wood there could be no ovens; without ovens there could be no bread; without bread there could be riots.
To keep the supply flowing uninterrupted, a floating loose-log transport system was introduced. Its meticulous organization and ingenious techniques played a vital role in the history of France.
Without these wood trains, Paris would have been a very different city.
LOUIS DE FUNES, THE ETERNAL LAUGH [90’]
The spiritual father of French comedy
Louis de Funès was acclaimed by the public but reviled by the critics. He had to wait until he was 41 years old to achieve success finally.
His 144 films in his 35-year career made him a record holder in cinema admissions and television audiences.
Louis de Funès died in 1983, but his incredible comic talent has not aged a day, and his detractors have made their mea culpa to the spiritual father of French comedy.
MACRON'S ROAD TO ELYSEE [52’]
A remarkable strategy of conquest
This film tells the historical presidential campaign of Emmanuel Macron, told from the inside.
How is this man able to carry out an election campaign without the backing of a traditional political party and still seduce a large swath of French voters. Whether he wins or not, the former minister of Finance has already succeeded in his gamble, considered insane a few months before, to become one of the favorites in the coming election.
Even if the political events of 2016 have turned out in his favor, its strategy of conquest remains remarkable for a neophyte in politics.
MAFIA AND ITALY, A BLOODY PACT [55’]
In 1992, the anti-mafia magistrates Falcone and Borsellino were murdered in Palermo, the capital of Sicily. For a long time public opinion believed in a story of revenge; that of Toto Riina who was head of Cosa Nostra, the fearsome Sicilian mafia.
Today, a lawsuit is challenging this hypothesis. Within the Italian state, someone is said to have guided the murders.
With exclusive testimonies from judges, politicians and witnesses under protection, this film reveals several decades of incestuous links between the State and the mafia.
MEXICO'S SECRET TREASURES [110’]
The heritage of the Mayas, Toltecs, Incas and Aztecs
From pre-Columbian times until the Spanish conquest in 1521, Mexico was the cradle of civilizations ahead of their time.
Architecture combined with extraordinary artistic diversity characterizes the legacy of the Mayas, Toltecs, Incas, or Aztecs, as evidenced by the imposing ruins of palaces and temples scattered throughout the jungle.
These civilizations are also known to have developed impressive scientific knowledge.
MOKA MALO [52’]
The story of coffee, the black gold of the 18th century
In February 1708, two boats sailed to Yemen from the French port of Saint-Malo.
One of King Louis XIV’s privateers, Mr. de la Merveille, led the expedition. His destination was Mocha, the main trading post for coffee which was a precious and rare product at the time.
In the 18th century, Yemen was the only country in the world to grow it. The Dutch East India Company had trading monopoly in Europe on the beans. The French wanted their share of this highly lucrative market and launched a naval war against the cartel.
The story of a worldwide household name
Founded in 1932 by a self-taught genius, Jean Mantelet, the Moulinex company became a part of 20th-century French industrial history, creating a multitude of objects that became classics, until it went bankrupt in 2001.
This film unfolds this story, between greatness and downfall, following in parallel the story of the founder's life and that of a brand that became a worldwide household name.
MOUNTAIN HEROES [72’]
Up there together
At the feet of the Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain, Chamonix is proud of its "Compagnie des Guides". Created in 1821, it is the oldest and most prestigious mountain guides’ company in the world.
People come from all over to ascend the Mont Blanc, most often under the guidance of a member of the Company. This is a very special organization based on solidarity and the love of mountain climbing.
But who are these women and men who have sworn allegiance to their passion? What values and convictions do they set forth? How do they cope with the hazards that are inherent to their occupation?
MYTHICAL BEACHES OF THE SIXTIES: THE NEVER ENDING SUMMER [5x45’]
A symbol of sensuality and freedom
In the 60s, beaches were the places where glamour met the dolce vita and symbolized sensuality and freedom. Seaside living became a lifestyle when the rest of the world was dealing with the cold war, a man was setting foot on the moon, the flower power was the craze and everybody proclaimed the motto “Born to be Wild”.
From Copacabana to Saint-Tropez, passing by Capri, Malibu and Daytona Beach, the “places-to-be” had all the same denominator: bursts of energy, youth and tanned bodies.
NAKED CITY [52’]
Nudists vs libertines
The nudist village of Cap d'Agde has a sulfurous reputation. Infamous for being the world's largest clothing-optional beach resort, it is often depicted as the place of all excesses, the international rendez-vous for swingers.
Beyond the nudist/libertine divide, this is the fascinating story of a unique spot that has been at the vanguard of the evolution of mores since the late sixties.
Despite all the contradictions and controversies, there is however one thing everyone agrees upon in Cap d'Agde: freedom is paramount.
NAZIS/RESISTANCE: THE UNDERGROUND WAR [52’]
The secret places of German occupation in Paris
Paris, June 1940. The heavy boots of the Wehrmacht soldiers hammer the cobblestones of the Champs-Elysées. Declared open city and emptied of 2/3 of its population, the French capital has just been abandoned to Germany without a fight. The Nazis could not have dreamed of better trophies than the Arc de Triomphe, Hôtel des Invalides, Eiffel Tower and Place de la Concorde.
Yet, behind the glowing images of German propaganda, the fight is far from over.
This film tells the underground war of occupied Paris. The incredible capture of the Senate and its bunker by the Germans, the atrocities committed by the Gestapo in the rue des Saussaies, the escape tunnel of Drancy and the liberation of Paris from the underground.
NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS, LIVING CATHEDRAL [52’]
Before the disaster
Notre Dame de Paris has been a landmark in the heart of Paris since 1163.
Close to 15 million pilgrims and visitors coming from all over the world have made it the most visited monument in Europe. A gothic piece of art, it is first and foremost "the House of God and the Abode of Men".
This film presents exceptional views and 3D imaging to reveal details of the various masterpieces while being enchanted by the music and beauty of liturgical celebrations.
NOTRE-DAME RENAISSANCE [52’]
The cathedral before and after the fire
April 15, 2019, 6:30 pm.
Paris is in shock. Flames are wreaking havoc the Notre-Dame cathedral.
Almost instantly, cameras capture the burning landmark and the alarming situation. Indeed, some of the building treasures have disappeared forever, like the 19th century clock or the spire.
Through an original visit to the nave and the roofs of the wounded structure associated with sequences shot a few weeks before the tragedy, we see Notre-Dame as we will never again.
NOWITZKI : THE PERFECT SHOT [105’]
The path to NBA glory
This film follows the career of Dirk Nowitzki, his relationship with his coach and mentor, Holger Geschwinder, and their path to NBA glory.
OBJECTIVE ROUEN: UNDER THE ALLIED BOMBS [52’]
The US Air Force never apologized
In the early summer of 1942, the American war machine is deployed in Great Britain.
The United States want to test its B-17 super bomber and decide to carry out the first daytime bombing of the WWII. They choose the railway junction of Rouen to cripple the enemy's military logistics. The operation is successful but Rouen is leveled. Hundreds of civilian die while thousands are wounded.
The inhabitants never forgave.
The US Air Force never apologized.
OLIVIER ROUSTEING, THE YOUNG PRINCE OF BALMAIN [40’]
A highly creative designer
During Paris Fashion Week, the Balmain show is the one not to be missed under any circumstances.
For the past 6 years, it has been orchestrated and designed by the young prodigy Olivier Rousteing. This highly talented and sensitive designer has succeeded in rejuvenating the old French fashion house.
For the first time, Olivier Rousteing allowed cameras to film his life at its most dramatic moment.
ONCE UPON A TIME... [3x52’]
The genesis of stories
Beyond the realm of reality, the human imagination has been confronted from time immemorial with the mysteries of the world and the universe. It had no other choice than to dream hidden meanings, to lend, to the strange facts of this unknown world, faces, and adventures capable of crystallizing its fears to better overcome them.
This is how stories beginning with "Once upon a time…" were born.
ONE YEAR WITH MACRON [52’]
The freshman year
The aim of this film is to analyze and decrypt French President Emmanuel Macron.
What kind of president is he? A technocrat, an authoritarian, a liberal, a "startuper", a monarchist, a provocative? How does he wield his power?
With exclusive testimonies of Emmanuel Macron himself, historians, linguists, writers, sociologists and immersive sequences, we focus on the first year of the youngest French president.
OPERATION PETER PAN: EXODUS OF CUBA’S CHILDREN [52’]
A spectacular CIA manipulation
Between 1960 and 1962, 14,000 children were shipped out of Cuba to the United States by their panicking parents who hoped to join them later. The reason for this hysteria? A skillfully orchestrated rumor claiming that Fidel Castro intended to "nationalize" the country’s children.
This film tells the story of a spectacular CIA blackops initiative, Operation Peter Pan, aimed at overthrowing the Castro government.
ORSAY, CHRONICLES OF A MUSEUM [52’]
The untold stories behind the masterpieces
The Musée d'Orsay in Paris is housed in a former train station built at the end of the 19th century.
Its collections present Western art from 1848 to 1914, in all its diversity: painting, sculpture, decorative arts, graphic art, photography, architecture... It is one of the largest museums in Europe for this period.
It has the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings in the world, with masterpieces by artists such as Manet, Degas, Courbet, Cézanne, Monet or Renoir.
PACO RABANNE, A LIFE OF EXTRAVAGANCE [52’]
A metallurgist for some and a visionary for others
A metallurgist to some, and a visionary to others, Paco Rabanne never left anyone indifferent. He retired from fashion in 1999 after more than thirty years of creativity and international fame.
Between extravagance and heritage, this film tells the incredible story of its creator.
PAOLI GREAT AGAIN, LOOKING FOR MEL GIBSON [52’]
The father of the Corsican homeland
A television crew is making a portrait of Pasquale Paoli, a historical figure emblematic of Corsica’s independence, admired by the young Napoleon Bonaparte, the interlocutor of all the great thinkers of the Enlightenment.
As filming progresses, the young director becomes aware that many of the island's inhabitants have a fantasy: that Mel Gibson should make a film on the life of the "father of the homeland", like the one he devoted to William Wallace in "Braveheart" and restore their hero to his rightful place in history.
PASSIONATE PEOPLE [50x25’]
Their real selves
From Nobel Prize Shinya Yamanaka, best selling writer Marie Kondo or Michelin star's Ramen chef Yuki Onishi, we take a close look at the daily lives and activities of these “passionate people”.
PAUL RICARD, THE PASTIS STORY [52’]
A legendary drink
Ricard pastis, created in 1932 by Paul Ricard, a young man barely 23 years old, was sold in a few districts of Marseille before conquering the world.
Today, tens of millions of liters are sold each year.
This film tells the story of an exceptional entrepreneur and a legendary drink.
PEARL HARBOR [2x52’]
A major turning point
This is picture perfect Hawaii, surrounded by the cerulean blue Pacific Ocean.
Yet, 80 years ago, this idyllic setting was the site of one of World War II’s most memorable battles. On December 7, 1941, at 7:53am, a Japanese air squadron attacked the American fleet anchored in the waters of Pearl Harbor. The United States and its defensive strategy were struck right at the core.
The attack was a major turning point. The very next day, the U.S. officially entered the war, ending their policy of isolationism and taking the conflict to a whole new and truly global level.
POWER COUPLES [52’]
The next royal generations
Who are the royals in the 21st century?
In Spain, Felipe and Letizia are already in charge. In Great Britain, William and Kate are a power couple waiting in the wings, like Victoria and Daniel in Sweden.
PROVENCE, AUGUST 1944: THE OTHER D-DAY [52’]
End of 1943, early 1944, the Allies decided to carry out a double invasion in the North and South of France. Their strategy was to ensnare the Germans.
That led to Operation Overlord in Normandy on June 6, 1944, while Operation Dragoon took place in Provence on August 15, 1944, and is now known as "the Other D-Day".
PUTIN, MASTER OF GAME [52’]
Confrontation, manipulation, and intrigues
In 21st-century Russia, power is personified, and Putin has become an unavoidable figure, a modern Tsar at the head of a pseudo-democracy.
How far will he go in achieving his international ambitions?
Thanks to remarkable first-hand accounts from former ministers, counselors, diplomats, and experts who discuss their encounters with Putin and the confrontation, manipulation, and intrigues they have experienced, this film provides an original analysis of his political and military strategy and its impact on the world.
PUTIN, MASTER OF THE GAME [52’]
The new Tsar
“Without Putin, there is no Russia”, a deputy head of the Russian presidential administration declared.
In the new Russia of the 21st century, power is personified and Putin has become a key figure in international relations.
PUTIPHAR'S TRAVEL GUIDES [11x52’]
A 19th century globe-trotter
Petrus Putiphar is the author of travel guides.
This professional fictional traveler identifies sights to visit, museums, gardens, or places to check, he walks around cities and blackens the pages of his notebook while sharing his discoveries and observations.
We follow him to Paris, London, Vienna, Constantinople, Amsterdam, or Saint Petersburg. Flagship capitals of the 19th century... because Putiphar travels at that very period.
RAMESSES II, THE GREAT JOURNEY [52’]
The post-mortem adventures of the greatest Pharaoh
3,200 years ago, Egypt was living the final hours of its golden age under the reign of Ramesses II. After ruling the country for 67 years, the great pharaoh died at the ripe old age of 92.
His mummy is buried in the heart of the Valley of the Kings. This is the beginning of his great journey towards the afterlife and eternity but only under one condition: that his tomb remains off limits forever.
However, in the 19th century, several European adventurers find and explore the tomb of the illustrious king searching for the burial chamber where his body rests alongside an invaluable treasure. Then begins a riveting archeological investigation through time and space, which reveals the spellbinding story of Ramesses II after-life.
RAYMOND DEVOS, IN EVERY SENSE [90’]
The juggler of words
For half a century, Raymond Devos, a stand-up comedian and wordsmith imagined and performed absurd monologues that have become classics.
He made several generations of spectators laugh with sketches that are now taught in schools and that today's comedians include in their repertoire. There is even a Raymond Devos Award to celebrate the French language.
This film evokes his professional career as well as the life of the man beyond the juggler of words.
RAYMOND POULIDOR, THE CHAMPION [52’]
The eternal second
Raymond Poulidor was a famous French cyclist who drew his stardom from being viewed as the eternal second in the history of the Tour de France.
Today, Raymond Poulidor is a handsome, silver-haired gentleman peacefully growing old. He looks back on his career and talks about the glory, doping, money and women, as well as his legendary rivalry with Jacques Anquetil which fascinated the cycling world.
ROME OCCUPIED CITY [52’]
The nazis in the Eternal City
From September 1943 to June 1944, the Italian capital became a hellish place where every neighborhood and every street could turn into a battlefield at a moment's notice.
The Nazis have forced their way into the Eternal City. While the king and the government have run away, they impose a climate of terror for nine long months.
ROYAN, THE CURSE OF THE LIBERATION [52’]
The first use of napalm bombs
Late 1944. France is liberated but some pockets of German resistance remain on the Atlantic coast.
At Royan, the Allies have difficulty overcoming the Reich army. In January 1945, then in March, they decide to bomb the town centre. It turns into a disaster. Poor coordination between the Americans, the British and the French results in the outright annihilation of the city.
Thousands of civilians and soldiers die under the bombs which, for the first time, were filled with napalm.
SAMURAI CASTLES [52’]
Part fortresses, part palaces
After 5 years of restoration, Japan proudly celebrates the reopening of the Himeji Castle, a recently added World Heritage UNESCO site.
Too often mistaken for temples, Japanese castles are an integral part of the history of the country. Their slender architecture impressed the first Europeans who landed here in the 16th century. One can easily imagine samurai meandering down the footpaths, checking the defenses, or visiting the dungeons.
From North to South and appropriately during the blossoming of the Sakura – the cherry tree whose flower was the symbol of the samurai – this film unveils monuments still largely unknown outside of Japan.
SECRETS OF HISTORY - ENIGMAS [19x75’]
The greatest mysteries of history unveiled
Why did Cleopatra kill herself?
Did Judas betrayed Jesus?
Was Napoleon poisoned?
SECRETS OF HISTORY sheds light on some of the unsolved mysteries of the past through interviews of historians, archives and re-enactments.
SECRETS OF HISTORY - PORTRAITS [120x100’]
This series unveils the great mysteries of the past by evoking exceptional destinies, known or unknown.
Each episode retraces the life of an emblematic historical character and highlights remarkable heritage sites.
SECRETS OF MATSU [52’]
A military outpost becomes an artistic center
In 1997, British photographer Chris Stowers spent time on an island in the Mazu Archipelago, located at the southeastern tip of Fujian Province, China.
The islands, with their picturesque villages and quaint customs, were already undergoing dramatic changes at the time, from a military outpost to an artistic center.
How has life changed today for a community that has lived under martial law for years? What does the future hold for these islands in a new world full of uncertainties?
SECRETS OF THE WORLD’S RICHEST WOMEN [2x45’]
The L'Oreal saga
This film recounts the saga of L’Oreal since its establishment in 1904.
The incredible economic adventure and international success of a small business that became the embodiment of beauty and glamour is told through the story of the people who shaped its rise to fame.
Between the exceptional achievements and the scandals, at the crossroads of economy, history, politics, sociology and culture, this epic chronicle overlaps with the history of the 20th century.
SEX AND MUSIC [4x52’]
The evolution of our mores by way of songs
Did you know that in the '50s, only 3% of pop songs mentioned sex? In the '70s, that number jumped to 40%; in 2009, 92% of the songs talked about sex.
This series reveals the influence of the major pop music genres on our sexual lives and, in return, the influence of our sex lives on music.
A watershed battle
Stalingrad was a titanic battle, a duel to death between Hitler and Stalin, where men fought like rats in the city sewers.
Exceptional footage from the frontline show combatants huddling in the ruins, braving bombs and ﬁghting for life among the ﬂames.
The battle of Stalingrad was a watershed moment in WWII and 20th century history.
STOLEN MEMORIES [52’]
A ghastly house cleaning
By winter 1943, the swastika has been flying above Paris’ Eiffel Tower for 3 years.
Unbeknownst to the Parisians, besides Drancy, there are 3 more internment camps within the walls of the French capital. These prisons house 800 so-called "semi-Jewish" inmates forced to carry out the work of "gravediggers", i.e. sorting through belongings stolen from families of Jewish descent who have been sent to the concentration camps.
This operation was the widespread plunder of everyday items, a cousin of the more widely known looting campaign involving works of art.
STORY OF FAITH [12x52’]
The most important places of Christianity
Religions have shaped our societies for centuries.
This series looks back at the most important places of Christianity and the stories of faith that are as diverse as they are astounding.
SWITZERLAND: HITLER’S BANKERS [52’]
The economics of WWII
Looking at World War II from the perspective of economics, it is quite clear that the Third Reich was a giant with feet of clay.
A series of unprecedented revelations explains how Germany has been able to finance its huge war expenses.
The war might have ended in 1943, had Switzerland not recycled the gold looted by the Nazis throughout Europe and France.
THE ALBERT GOERING FILE [52’]
The younger brother of Reichmarschall Hermann Goering
His story is hard to believe and yet it is real.
He was arrested 3 times by the Gestapo and released 3 times. On May 10, 1945, he was imprisoned by the American Army and interrogated. He then wrote a list of 34 names: people he had saved from deportation and death. His name was Albert Goering. He was the younger brother of Reichmarschall Hermann Goering, Adolf Hitler’s right-hand man.
From re-enactments based on Albert Goering’s interrogation by an American officer, the testimony of families saved by his actions and with unreleased archive images, this is the portrait of an enigmatic man in the heart of Third Reich.
THE AUSCHWITZ TRIAL: THE END OF SILENCE [52’]
The German confront their wartime responsibilities
Frankfurt, December 1963. For the first time, 22 former SS soldiers stand accused of the worst crimes committed at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. The trial is being conducted by their own countrymen. Politicians and the public are opposed to the proceeding.
For 2 months, it will reveal the unspeakable, forcing the German to face their wartime responsibilities. It will also give nearly 200 survivors the chance to have their voices heard as they describe their harrowing experiences.
THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME [52’]
A tragic attack
July 1, 1916, 7:30am. In the Somme, 500,000 French and British soldiers, on a front stretching 40 km, launch the most senseless attack of an absurd war. Carrying 35 kg on their backs and with orders not to run or drop on the ground, they walk towards death as if on a parade. That morning, 60,000 men fall.
This absurd obstinate pursuit of an error would last 5 months.
With more than a million casualties on both sides, the Battle of the Somme would cost more lives than Verdun in twice as less time. For negligible results.
THE BIRTH OF A NEW WORLD 1956 [52’]
A critical year
In early November 1956, the Red Army was rushing to Budapest to crush Hungarians fighting for their freedom. In Egypt, French, British and Israeli troops took the Suez Canal by storm. Their goal was to overthrow Gamal Abdel Nasser, the leader of Arab nationalism. Only 11 years after WWII, the world was on the verge of a disaster.
This film provides an overview of that critical year, a key period in the Cold War when new geopolitical cards were being dealt and would shape the coming decades.
THE BRIDGES OF PARIS [52’] or [70’]
Pushing back the limits
The bridges of Paris follow one another along the Seine river, all different since they were built over centuries and reflect the most advanced techniques of each era. First in wood, then in stone, metal and today in high-performance alloys, they have each time pushed back the limits of know-how.
How have these superstructures withstood the test of time? What challenges were met to gain in lightness and sturdiness, to improve span and strength?
Thanks to 3D images and the participation of the best experts, this film takes us back in time to discover the incredible story of the bridges of Paris.
Also available as a 70'
THE COMPANIONS OF THE LIBERATION [52’]
Heroes in the making
They were to become heroes but did not know it. Most of them were not yet 20 years old in June 1940 when France signed the armistice, synonymous with surrender.
They were starting a career, studying, had families and friends. They all listened to Marshal Pétain's speech asking them to stop fighting.
They immediately rebelled and joined General de Gaulle in London or the Resistance in France with hope as their main driving force.
THE ESCAPES FROM THE THIRD REICH [52’]
A tunnel to freedom
In 1944, Anglo-American officers detained in Poland managed to escape by digging a tunnel. Their feat inspired the famous film "The Great Escape".
This daring method had already been used by French prisoners in September 1943. About 132 men absconded this way.
Former officer detainees tell of their incredible and dearly paid adventures.
THE FINAL JOURNEY OF THE ROMANOVS [52’]
A century old tragedy
Following the February 1917 Russian revolution, the Tsar Nicolas II abdicates. This film is an exceptional account of the tragic fate of the whole imperial family until its demise in July 1918. It is the story of a drama unfolding while History is on march, from the February and October revolutions to the end of WWI and the bloody Russian civil war.
Why was such a powerful mornarch abandoned by everyone, including his dearest cousin, King George of England? Did Lenin played a personal role in this outcome? Was murder the only solution?
One century later, the final weeks of the Romanovs are testament to the vanishing great European monarchies.
THE FOUNDING STORIES OF THE BIBLE [52’]
As you have never read, heard or seen it
When we tell Bible stories, we are always talking about the world we live in : migrations, wars, passions and power.
From the novice to the initiated, each reader discovers or rediscovers those 3,000 year-old stories that have so greatly influenced our culture.
THE FRENCH SECRET SERVICES, A DECLASSIFIED HISTORY [4x52’]
Unsung battles and heroes
Master spies, secret agents, assassins for the government. Intelligence agencies evoke superlatives, stereotypes and paradoxes. But who controls them and what is their role in politics?
French intelligence agencies are not only clandestine places but can also be violent when personal interests, national security, treason, targeted assassinations, and struggles for power become entangled.
THE GHOST OF THE NEOLITHIC [52’]
On the trail of a man who died 5,000 years ago
A team of Swiss archeologists are on the trail of a mysterious Neolithic man who died in the high Alps nearly 5,000 years ago.
Found in a glacier 2,800 meters up, his clothing is remarkably well-conserved, but his body has not been discovered yet.
THE GIRL IN THE PICTURE, THE STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO [52’]
The symbol of Vietnam's hell
On June 8, 1972, in Trang Bang, the South Vietnamese air force bombed a temple with napalm. It didn't shelter Vietcong soldiers, but their own fighters and civilians.
A nine-year-old girl emerges from the gigantic wall of flames and, unknowingly, finds herself in the lens of a young photographer witnessing the event. He doesn't know it yet, but he has frozen forever the figure that will embody "the hell of Vietnam".
This film retraces the extraordinary story of this young burnt girl whose terrible picture will contribute, by its power, to overturn world opinion against the Vietnam War.
THE GRAND TOUR [13x120’]
A journey of initiation
In the 18th century, artists and young aristocrats made the "Grand Tour", a journey of initiation through Europe to experience other cultures and deepen their knowledge of history and the arts.
This series is inspired by this approach and offer a journey around the world in the 21st century.
From Naples to Bahrain and from Edinburgh to New York, we meet emblematic characters.
THE GREAT MASTERS OF PAINTING [15x52’]
The greatest art geniuses
They have been piercing observers of their times, leaving their works for posterity.
Often misunderstood, even harassed by the critics, they were trailblazers of new artistic movements which transformed art forever and still fascinate scholars today.
This series is a thrilling journey into the world of the greatest painting geniuses.
THE HOLLYWOOD WAR [3x52’]
The dream factory during WWII
Answering President Roosevelt’s call, Hollywood’s major studios devoted their resources and talents to the war effort.
Drama, documentaries, cartoons. Thousands of films were produced, meant either for the general public or for the military.
Also available as 2x70mns.
THE KINGS OF FRANCE [40x52’]
The challenges of ruling
This series explores the history of France through its kings, from the 15th to the 19th centuries, by uncovering how each one reigned, his specificities, skills and failings.
Is it possible to find a balance between personal life and political governance? What are the biggest obstacles that these kings had to overcome? What does it take to be a "good king"?
THE KING’S FAVORITE [4x52’]
The "almost" queen
For more than twenty years, Diane de Poitiers has been King Henri II’s favorite. Despite her strong personality and her legendary beauty, she is still just another courtesan, and her position remains fragile.
As Henri’s upcoming marriage to Catherine de Medici may jeopardize her dream of power, Diane will do anything to maintain her influence.
But can her relationship with Henri, twenty years her senior, last forever?
THE LEGENDARY SIMONE VEIL [60’]
One of the most important women in contemporary history
Simone Veil is one of the most important women in contemporary history, a symbol of freedom and courage, the icon of women's rights, a true legend.
From the Holocaust to the European Parliament, this film recounts her struggles and motivations.
THE LOST IMPERIAL PALACE [52’]
Reviving Versailles' rival
An insolent palace, overlooking Paris from a hill bordering the Seine; this was the imperial castle of Saint-Cloud, a splendor burnt down, a victim of the French-Prussian war of 1870.
Built within a 500-hectare park and decorated with fountains, basins, water jets, and waterfalls, the Château de Saint-Cloud overshadowed Louis XIV's Versailles.
Of this wonder, there is nothing left, except the park that surrounded it, but for the past ten years passionate historians have set out to revive it. Based on exceptional photos and archives, they have made breathtaking renditions of the castle.
THE LOUVRE: BEHIND THE SCENES [52’]
The hidden side of the world’s most visited museum
This film presents the everyday lives of the 2,000 women and men who work in what is almost a city.
They share their passion for their jobs and love for the masterpieces they care for and invite us to explore the hidden side of the world’s most visited museum.
THE MAN WHO DEFIED AMERICA [52’]
The 30 years showdown between General de Gaulle and the USA
The hostility of the United States towards General de Gaulle is not a secret anymore. Successive American administrations tried everything to subdue him without ever succeeding, using media manipulations or clandestine financing of his opponents to name a few strategies.
The showdown between the General and the USA would last 30 years.
This film explains the reasons behind this antagonism thanks to declassified archives and new testimonies. For the first time, it is now possible to recount this secret war that pitted de Gaulle against America from 1940 to 1969.
THE MAN WHO SAVED 669 CHILDREN [52’]
Nicholas Winton, a very discreet hero
He never considered himself a hero, yet he saved 669 children on the eve of World War II.
As a young banker in the City of London, Nicholas Winton is about to go on a skiing vacation on Christmas 1938 when a friend calls him from Prague asking for help. In the Czechoslovakian capital, young Nicholas Winton sets up an extraordinary rescue operation for Jewish children threatened by the Nazis.
From his hotel room, he organizes the departure of trains to England and becomes a forger when he lacks authorizations and visas. 669 children board 8 trains on their way to London where they are met by host families.
THE MARIE BESNARD CASE [52’]
A truth still shrouded in mystery
Marie Besnard, a young woman born at the end of the 19th century, was suspected of being a serial killer, using poison to dispose of her victims. After 3 trials spread over more than 10 years, she was finally released in 1954 and acquitted.
Even today, the Marie Besnard’s case is still shrouded in mystery and has been the subject of books, TV shows and movies.
This documentary seeks out the witnesses who are still alive (investigators, police officers, lawyers, residents, etc...) at the very site where the case took place to help decipher the complex personality of the accused.
THE MEDIEVAL CITY OF ROCAMADOUR [52’]
The secrets of a pillar of faith
Rocamadour is a breathtaking medieval citadel built on the edge of a cliff in the center of France. Seemingly defying the laws of gravity, it stands at 364 meters, 40 meters higher than the Eiffel Tower.
This medieval city owes its fame to the fabulous treasure it conceals.
Nine centuries after its foundation, this film reveals the secrets of a pillar of faith, renown for extraordinary technical feats and legends.
THE N°5 WAR [52’]
The whiff of a deadly duel
The story of the most famous perfume in the world is worthy of the best novels.
Since its truly revolutionary introduction, back in 1921, it has been wildly coveted. The financial battle it prompted took a whole new turn in 1940 when Coco Chanel, with the help of the Nazis occupying France, went to great lengths to get rid of her Jewish associates, the Wertheimer brothers.
The war they lead against each other started in the Roaring Twenties and went on during the German occupation. It involved the Parisian elite, Nazi spies, unscrupulous businessmen, double agents and brilliant perfume designers.
THE OTHER GOERING [52’]
A divided brotherhood
You're not always responsible for your family members. Especially when you're the brother of one of the greatest war criminals, Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering.
It's hard to present oneself as a champion of individual freedoms when, in 1945, the death camps are being discovered, that the war has claimed millions of lives and every average German declares himself to be anti-Nazi.
And yet, Hermann's brother, Albert Goering, calls himself a protector of the weak and oppressed. We find out that the devil had an archangel brother.
THE REVIVAL OF CHAMBORD [52’]
The 500 year old castle celebration
Chambord is the largest of the Loire Valley castles, a monumental architecture masterpiece built in the 16th century. Inside there are more than 400 rooms served by 77 staircases, including the one with double revolution attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. The estate, covering 5,440 hectares, is the largest enclosed park in Europe.
Maintaining and enhancing the site is a daily challenge. To celebrate its 500th anniversary, Chambord has come up with new decors, new vineyards and new products.
THE SECRETS OF THE BUILDING PHARAOHS [105’]
The ingenuity of ancient Egyptians
Underwater excavation specialists from the Alexandria Archaeology Centre carry out the first underwater exploration of the Nile. They start with the city of Aswan before moving on to Jebel el Celcileh.
A second team is trying to understand how the men of Antiquity managed to carve granite blocks weighing several tons using rudimentary tools.
THE SECRETS OF THE TREASURE OF SAQQARA [52’]
A site yet to be searched
During a mission to the Saqqara necropolis, a team from the Louvre's Department of Egyptian Antiquities discovered an archaeological treasure that had been untouched for 2,500 years.
Later, back on the site, they uncover two sarcophagi, one of which is of impressive size, and a new tomb.
This film is a lesson in archaeology directed as an investigation.
THE TOMB OF THE USSR [52’]
A war that changed the face of the World
Forty years ago, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan triggered 10 years of a dirty conflict that changed the face of the world.
Through exclusive archives of the Afghan guerilla and the testimony of the local Soviet former commander in chief, this film unveils the full story of a war that marked the beginning of the fall of the USSR.
THE TREASURES OF VATICAN [2x52’]
A new Pope takes office
A rare and never-before-seen look inside the Vatican while it lives through a decisive moment in its history.
From the moment the new Pope took office, our crew has been able to capture life in this famously secretive environment.
During the course of several months, our cameras followed the daily lives of the men and women, both religious and secular, who work for His Holiness and the Vatican City.
THE TRUE STORY OF PAPILLON [52’]
The most incredible escape from hell story ever
"Papillon", starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman, was a major box office success when it came out in 1973 and is still viewed today as the best ever "escape from hell" scenario.
It was actually based on the true story of 2 hoodlums locked away in a gruesome French penal colony lost in the middle of the South American jungle.
This docu-fiction relates the extraordinary adventures of these men from their incredible escape to their spectacular recognition in Hollywood.
THE TRUE STORY OF THE GREAT ESCAPE [52’]
More dramatic than Hollywood
Winter 1944. In Nazi Germany, 76 pilots - British, Canadians, Norwegians and French – who were held in a Luftwaffe prison camp, escaped. The tunnel used for their flight was built in the greatest secrecy, right under the nose of their German guards.
This historical saga, immortalized in 1963 by John Sturges in his movie "The Great Escape" with Steve McQueen, went around the world. But the real story of these men overtakes by far the fiction imagined by Hollywood.
Among the witnesses in this film is Jack Lyon, one of the last survivors of this incredible adventure.
THE WONDERS OF FRENCH ARCHITECTURE [7x52’]
Standing the test of time
France has been the world's leading tourist destination for a very long time, but how have its landmark buildings, tourist sites, or bridges stood the test of time?
What technical, economic, or societal challenges did each project face when it was built?
This film takes us on a journey spanning several centuries of some famous superstructures and places through interviews with engineers, historians, and curators who reveal the origins of these sometimes miraculous wonders.
TRAILBLAZERS IN HABITS [58’] or [64’]
The Sisters who stood up for human rights
In America, the Maryknoll Sisters are truly iconic. Far from the clichés of Catholic nuns removed from the turmoil of the world, they have been witnesses and sometimes active players in some of the major historical events of the last century such as the Chinese revolution, the civic rights movement in the USA, the independence of African countries and the bloody civil wars of the 70’s in Central America.
Everywhere they’ve been on the side of the poorest and the persecuted, often paying the price for it with their blood and freedom.
The story one of the only 57 survivors among 750,000 Jews
This film is adapted from Chil Rajchman's story "I Am the Last Jew".
October 1942. Chil Rajchman is 28 years old when he is deported to Treblinka. He escaped the gas chamber by becoming a clothes sorter, a hairdresser, a corpse carrier and a "dentist". On August 2, 1943, he participated in the camp uprising and escaped. After several weeks of wandering, the young man hid with a friend near Warsaw where, in a notebook, and before the victory over the Nazis, he recounted his 10 months in hell.
At the Liberation, he was one of the only 57 survivors among the 750,000 Jews sent to Treblinka. No camp had gone so far in the rationalization of mass extermination.
TWO AGAINST HITLER [52’]
A tale of espionage and secret love
During the Second World War, a young Frenchwoman named Madeleine Richou became "Source Mad", one of the most valuable intelligence agents thanks to Nazi officer Erwin Lahousen.
She was able to reveal Hitler's most closely guarded secrets.
This is a tale of espionage and secret love.
VERSAILLES, KINGS, QUEENS AND PRESIDENTS [52’] or [90’]
A grandiose dinner
Versailles is synonymous with politics and power.
For a head of State, dinner at the chateau is one of the greatest honours France can bestow on a guest. The list includes Kennedy, Reagan, Khrushchev, Queen Elizabeth, the Shah of Iran, Colonel Khadafi…
This unique film is built on the archives of these grandiose events, demonstrating that even three centuries after the death of Louis XIV, Versailles retains its spellbinding attraction.
VERSAILLES, THE CHALLENGES OF THE SUN KING [2x50’]
A testament to creativity
Louis XIV was determined to build the greatest palace of his time. To realize his dream he summoned the best mathematicians, astronomers, engineers, agronomists and hydraulic experts of the time expecting nothing but their utmost.
The Palace of Versailles is a testament to the creativity of an era which made everything possible.
WAR WRECKS [4x52’]
Planes crashed. Ship sank. Tanks got stuck.
Between September 1939 and May 1945, thousands of fighter planes, bombers, boats, and tanks were lost during operations. Some crashed in deserts and fields, others at sea or into marshes. Ships sank with their cargo and sailors. Tanks got stuck in bogs or were buried to fill in shell holes.
They all remained wherever they went down until now and they have stories to tell.
This series visits all these hidden wrecks, brings them back to the surface, and tells what happened during that tragic day. With a mix of archives, re-enactments, VFX, and experts’ interviews, the epic stories of these battle machines offer a unique perspective on WWII.
An improbable and triumphant story
This is the incredible but true story of Wayne Gardner, a kid from Wollongong, a little town of less than 300,000 inhabitants, that no one believed in and who grew up to be the hero who would define an era for Australians. He practiced one of the most dangerous and visually arresting sport on the planet: Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing.
This classic hero’s journey reminds us what it feels like to be the underdog, and yet climb a mountain, win a race or achieve our own individual dreams.
WE BUGGED HITLER'S PHONE [52’]
The ultimate wiretap
April 20, 1942. Three Resistance agents led by engineer Robert Keller are listening in on Adolf Hitler, the Führer himself. They have wiretapped him. They are also spying on other top dignitaries of the Third Reich like Goering.
Indeed, during World War II, Keller pulled off one of the greatest feats of espionage in Occupied Europe.
For the benefit of French and British intelligence, he recorded all the state secrets passing through the underground telephone lines stretching from Paris to Berlin.
WHO IS EMMANUEL MACRON? [52’]
From underdog to favorite
From the Ministry of; Finance to his candidacy in the presidential elections, Emmanuel Macron quickly imposed himself in the French political landscape with subtlety and cleverness.
In this film, Emmanuel Macron tries to define his political line and his strategy that turned out to be fatal for the Socialist Party.
From underdog to favorite, we discover the French president from his beginning as a candidate.
WOMEN OF NAZI GERMANY [2x52’]
A necessary adaptation to a world in flux
The Nazi regime ended up being a paradox for German women: formerly confined to a traditional matriarchal role, they experienced temporary social emancipation after being entrusted with some very untraditional responsibilities.
Some of them were honorable (standing in for the men who had left for the Front), some horrific (participating in the Third Reich’s crimes).
This two-parts film shows how their place in society changed from the late 1920s to the Nazis’ rise to power, then confining them to the status of "child-bearers" from 1933 to 1939.
YAB YUM [52’]
The rise and fall of the world's most legendary brothel
Yab Yum, Amsterdam's most legendary brothel, was forced to close its doors more than 10 years ago after the exclusive and vibrant club turned into a dodgy criminal hub.
Director Anna Maria van't Hek found those who once worked there, they share with her their turbulent past. They tell their stories, both extravagant and painful, about Yab Yum's glory days and how it all went tragically wrong.
LIBERTY SHIPS [2x52’]
The oceans workhorses of WWII
In 1999, an old cargo ship, the Zhan Dou 43, ended its protracted career somewhere in China. This seemingly mundane event marked the end of the most incredible maritime and industrial saga.
The Zhan Dou 43 was launched in Baltimore in 1943 and was the last Liberty Ship still plying for trade. Between September 1941 and August 1945, the American built 2,710 absolutely identical cargo vessels.
Two were launched every day. The object of the exercise was simple: build more ships than the German and Japanese submarines could sink. The cargo ships were intended to provide fresh supplies of men and equipment to all theatres of operation in the Second World War. The D-day landings, on 6 June 1944, would never have been possible without them.
LIVING STONES 2 [10x26’]
The wonders of archeology
This second season of LIVING STONES is devoted to the archeological heritage of the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
It unveils the greatest landmarks and the history that presided over their construction, development and ultimate decline. Through findings shared by prestigious archeologists and with the help of CGI, we can finally see and tour these monuments as they were built and revisit the great civilizations of Mesopotamia, Pharaonic Egypt, Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.
The series also takes us through the cornerstones of History such as the development of mythical cities, the invention of the alphabet or the belligerent crusades.
OLYMPIA, THE ORIGIN OF GAMES [52’]
A sanctuary famous for its religious prestige and competitions
Developed around an ancient site of worship, the sanctuary of Olympia beamed throughout the ancient world for its religious prestige and famous competitions.
Years of archaeological research have led to a better knowledge of the place and allowed graphic reconstructions of its dedicated spaces for deities and sports.
This film is a fascinating discovery of a site that pulsated every four years during the famous Olympic Games.
THE SECRET OF THE STONES [8x52’]
On the trail of History
This series is about the greatest archeological landmarks of the Mediterranean and the Middle East and the history that presided over their construction, their development and ultimate decline.
Through findings shared by prestigious archeologists and with the help of CGI, we finally see these monuments as they were built and revisit the great civilizations of Mesopotamia, Pharaonic Egypt, Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.
We relive the cornerstones of History such as the development of mythical cities, the invention of the alphabet or the belligerent crusades.