History Documentary hosted by Dana Westberg, published by Arte in 2010 - English narration
Mysteries in the archives, ten investigations into ten events of the twentieth century that have marked our memory and our imagination. In the French series, we learn about the historical events of the 20th century by closely investigating archive films. Who is in the picture, who is missing? Why was the camera pointed right here? Who is sitting next to whom?
The "Mysteries in the Archives" series takes us to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth and the Khmer Rouge camps, the occupation of Saigon and a Tour de France. We follow John F. Kennedy's visit to Berlin as well as the funeral a few months later, and we learn about the Shah's celebrations at ancient Persepolis and de Gaulle's scandalous speech in Quebec.
By looking at the pictures again and more closely, the series reveals how history has been processed, told and manipulated in the pictures. Each image is carefully studied and analyzed until its secrets are revealed. The series explores the power of pictures to tell otherwise. It raises the question: do we see what we know or can we know more with the help of the image?
"Mysteries in the Archives" is a collection aiming to uncover and rediscover known or unpublished images that bear witness to our history. The audiovisual document becomes a piece of evidence that it is up to us to question, to make people talk. The image is scrutinized, dissected, and often, Mysteries in the Archives takes our gaze away from what the camera operator had seen or expected. Each episode is constructed as an investigation. Some are about cheerful and amusing topics, others are about more solemn, momentous events.
Serge Viallet, a true detective of the image, reveals a multitude of new elements and significant anecdotes hidden behind the story as it was shown to us in cinemas and then on television. Meticulous investigations are undertaken - film is rummaged, sifted through and sorted, examined frame by frame and analyzed until it finally reveals its secrets. This collection includes all 10 episodes of season 2.
Series idea & director Serge Viallet ; A Co-Production of ARTE France and INA-Institut National de l'Audiovisuel in Association with YLE Teema and RTSI-Televisione Svizzera
10) 1989: The Protests at Tiananmen Square
Beijing, May 1989. In the huge Tiananmen Square occupied by students, reporters from around the world film the protests and their terrible repression. These pictures are among the most famous testimonies of the history of the 20th century: On the morning of June 5, 1989, a man in a white shirt confronted a tank column of the Chinese army in Beijing. He is filmed by western reporters, but to this day it is unclear who this man was. At that time, the atmosphere in the Chinese capital was similar to that of a civil war. For the first time in the history of the communist republic, army units advance into the city center. They are said to evict thousands of students occupying the vast Tiananmen Square.
Reporters from all over the world film the rallies for political and democratic reforms every day. On the night of June 3-4, Chinese army troops stormed the center of Beijing and drove the students from the square. Numerous Beijing citizens opposed the soldiers. After that night of clashes, the number of casualties is estimated at over a thousand dead and several thousand injured. This bloody operation crushed a protest movement that had feared the government for weeks.
But why was this protest movement crushed by the government with such harshness? What danger was there for those in power? And how is it that reporters from all over the world could be there to cover the event?