bande annonce

How Earth Made Us: Deep Earth


2009, United Kingdom
Original language
Running time
Directed by
Matthew Gyves
Produced by

This film explores the relationship between man and the deep Earth. It’s an association which has had a profound influence on the pathway of humanity – and that’s because we’ve always chosen to build our homes along the edges of fault lines and plate boundaries - places which for thousands of years have provided the resources needed for civilisation to flourish.

We begin 300 metres below the surface of the planet in a geological wonder. The Crystal Cave of Naica, Mexico, was formed by mineral rich fluids rising along fault lines, from deep inside the Earth, forming a cavern of gypsum crystals. It’s the perfect illustration of the (often hidden) beauty of the inner Earth. But the cave has an ugly side too. Without special suits and breathing apparatus, anyone entering the cave would die in after 30 minutes, as the heat and humidity causes the cells in their body to collapse. The Crystal Cave highlights the power and the wonder of the deep Earth, but to see how minerals rising from inside our planet changed the course of human history we head to the deserts of Southern Israel.

We continue all over the word, to understand how human being are attracted to fault lines for copper, as well as water and many other resources that allow civilisations to flourish, they also helped change the very way we lived our lives. Even if they are dangerous. But what’s perhaps strangest of all is that we haven’t learnt our lesson – in fact little has changed over the past 10000 years. Half of the largest cities on Earth still lie along fault lines and plate boundaries. That’s even more surprising when you consider that we now know exactly what we’re living with.

It was the volcanoes of Hawaii that helped explain how tectonic plates move around the world; creating mountains and oceans - and causing earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in their wake. But even with that knowledge we carry on living right in the firing line. Why?

History suggests that we're going to live along fault lines and plate boundaires for the next 10,000 years. But now we have a choice. Stick with the old regime and take our chances, or embrace the new and finally take control. For the very first time in human history – that choice is ours.


Selected at Pariscience 2010
See the showing : Friday 08th October 2010 from 14h15 to 15h45