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Home > Screenings > ZDF Enterprises > Anthropocene

Director: Jens Monath

Producer: ZDF in association with ZDF Enterprises

Executive Producer: Jens Monath

Writer: Jens Monath, Heike Schmidt

Genres: Documentary

3 × 50′

A new era has begun: the Anthropocene. With 7 billion human beings alive today, we have become a force of nature in our own right, able to change the planet and life on it, even determine the nature of our influence.

The Anthropocene stands in a series of geological eras that lasted millions of years and whose names are connected in our minds to dinosaurs or plate tectonic shifts. Can it really be that a period of time that only just covers a few millennia, centuries and years is actually similarly changing for our planet? Yes it is.

Because mankind has shaped the earth, at least since it settled down. From around 10,000 BC, people began to work the ground, no longer being satisfied with what nature throws off anyway. They dig up the earth, they plant, they understand what makes a soil more fertile. They divert water and dig wells to bring it up from the depths. And they use the power of fire to make their lives more comfortable. All of this changes the three elements by which we have structured our series of programs: earth, water and air.

We take the audience on a journey through a history of humanity that has never been seen before on television. The rise and fall of empires, migrations or inventions - they are all examined for their effects on the state of the nature of the earth. With surprising findings, the most serious of which is this: Times of crisis in human civilization, such as ongoing phases of war or declines in population growth, were always times in which nature recovered. But the conclusion that human progress and the environment are simply incompatible would be drawn too early…