Chip Taylor Communications

Subject: Foreign Language: French

European Studies Series (French)

1 of 25 documentaries in this series that offers in-depth studies on the geography, history, culture and people of various European countries; also informative perspectives on significant contemporary issues are addressed. Program available on 1 individual DVD, Digital Streaming File or Video. (Also Click for more

France: Beneath Paris

France: Beneath Paris

"Highly Recommended. Everyone recognizes the iconic landmarks of Paris, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe; however, what most don't know is the incredible history and stories that lie beneath the streets of this magnificent city, which is over two thousand years old. This fascinating documentary takes us on a journey you'll never forget." -National Media Review
Below the splendor of Paris lies a network of sewers, waterways, quarries, and catacombs, heretofore seen by few. In this program, producer Francoise Marie reveals the historical, architectural, and cultural riches of this surreal underground world, referred to as "the city's consciousness." We accompany sewer workers aboard 19th century wooden boats, as they risk injury and illness in their efforts to dredge Paris' subterranean sewage system. We feel the pride of subway workers who repair damaged track while trains roar by, and the stoical resignation of the subway operator who must reconcile his unwilling complicity in underground suicides. We take a guided tour through sections of the 2,000 acres of abandoned underground quarries, shafts, and galleries, the source of raw materials for many of France's cathedrals and bridges, and the past refuge for vagrants, smugglers, anarchists, and revolutionaries. We enjoy the serenity of a brief cruise down the submerged Napoleonic Saint Martin Canal and join firefighters on practice dives in subterranean pools below the Paris Opera, the rumored habitat of "The Phantom of the Opera." We take somber walks through the "Catacombs" and the "Memorial to Deportation," stark reminders of the realities of death and the horrors of human atrocity. Then we escape from this "abyss of reflection" back to the light of the surface and the hopes and dreams of another day. Produced by Francoise Marie in association with TriStar Film & TV GmbH. 04/10DE IJSCA 30 min. Also available in English.

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