you need a subscription to view this film: subscribe - education only

Secrets of the Great Wall: At the dawn of the Empire

Year: 2015, 52 mins
Code: IC-Secrets1

  • Description
  • About the Artists
  • Embed / Share

Volume 1: At the dawn of the Empire

Volume 2: Artisans of the eternal China

Volume 3: The Great Wall's heritage

The first dynasty, the QIN with a reign starting 221 B.C. brings an end to countless wars between feuding kingdoms to form the Middle Kingdom, an Empire with gigantic proportions. And at its heart a capital named Xi’An where the order was given to commence construction of the wall in order to secure the boundaries of the new Empire. Protected by the Seas in the South and the East, and by the Himalayan Mountains in the West, the new Empire was vulnerable in the North. Nomadic Mongols and other war-faring peoples from Central Asia needed to be kept at bay. It is here, in Xi’An, where the founding Emperor is buried and to this day guarded by the famous army of terra cotta warriors.

A photographer, also an amateur-archaeologist, had the opportunity to buy a piece of the Wall. He spends his week-ends excavating unknown treasures on his “property”: to him knowing the past means you are prepared for the future. Also on our discovery trail along the Great Wall, we’ll meet a master potter specialising in creating terra cotta soldiers according to techniques two millennia old, replicas of the ones at the imperial tomb.

Finally, in a tiny village at the foot of the Wall, the film shows a rare Taoist ritual to free a poor woman from the demons that are believed to have caused her illness for many years. Through this memorable experience the viewer will understand the place Taoism has held in the old days, and, in some ways, still does today in these remote parts of China. Some say that this religion, this philosophy would be, in a matter of speaking, the cement of the Great Wall, and one of the major forces to hold together the entire Chinese community.

Written by Michel NOLL
Directed by ZHANG Wenqing and Michel NOLL

Share this video

Start at (H:MM:SS) and end at (H:MM:SS)


Embed this video

Start at (H:MM:SS) and end at (H:MM:SS)