poster 1979 | © OutreMer Film | K2 Productions 2019
© OutreMer Film | K2 Productions 2019

1979 Big Bang of the Present

    All titles (3)
    Documentary | 2019 | arte, NRK [no], ORF [at], RTS Radio Télévision Suisse [ch], TVP [pl] | Docu, History | France, Germany

    Shooting data

    Start of shooting13/05/2019
    End of shooting13/07/2019
    LocationsParis; Berlin; London; Washington, DC; Austin, TX; Gdansk, Warsaw, Lublin; Rome,;Città del Vaticano; Tehran

    Project data

    Length of movie90'- 2x52'
    Aspect ratio16:9 (1 : 1,78)
    Distribution formatFilmstream 4:4:4
    Sound formatDolby surround (4 channels)

    Press images

    Behind the scenes


    Brief synopsis

    This rollercoaster documentary narrates the pivotal events of the year that gave birth to our present: 1979. The ongoing crises in the Middle East, the expansion of terrorist networks and the never-ending conflict in Afghanistan, but also China’s rapid rise to the rank of a world power, the omnipresent issue of Brexit that might become the biggest threat to an EU struggling to find it's new place in the world – they all have their roots in 1979. Directors-producers DIRK VAN DEN BERG and PASCAL VERROUST will narrate how the events on 1979 define our lives until today. With first-hand witness accounts and never-before-seen archive footage, they will decrypt the globalised present and show how 1979 was THE BIG BANG OF THE PRESENT.

    Coproduced between Dirk's OUTREMER FILM and Pascal Verroust's K2 PRODUCTIONS, the film (1x90 and 2x45) is co-financed by ARTE, RBB, TVP Poland, ORF Austria, RTS Switzerland and NRK, and is distributed to three continents by Cologne-based world-sales NewDocs.

    From Deng Xiaoping's economic opening of China to Margaret Thatcher’s introduction of liberal market politics, from Ayatollah Khomeini’s return to Iran and Islamic revolution to Pope John Paul II and his summer visit in Poland where he called fellow catholics to resist against communism, from the Second Oil Shock and the nuclear accident at the Harrisburg Three Mile Island power plant to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, from Saddam Hussain's power grab in Iraq to the beginning of nuclear proliferation with India, and from the very first Climate Change report to the first wave of refugees when the Vietnamese Boat People arrived in Europe: within the twelve months of 1979, the world saw the rise of multiple new protagonists who enacted pivotal change of direction in Religion, Economics and Politics.


    Director of photographyFrederik Walker
    Additional photographySven Klöpper
    Additional photographyOlivia Furtwängler
    DirectorDirk van den Berg
    Co-directorPascal Verroust
    Co-producerDirk van den Berg
    Co-producerPascal Verroust
    ScreenwriterDirk van den Berg
    Co-writerPascal Verroust
    Production sound mixerMathieu Descamps

    Distributing companies

    New Docs e.K. [de]


    Production ServicesINA Institut National de l'Audiovisuel [fr]


    TypeCountryStationDate / TimeComment
    RepeatGermanyarteFriday, 20/12/2019, 9.30 AMfeature version (90m)
    First showingFrancearteTuesday, 10/12/2019, 8.50 PMfeature version (90m)
    First showingGermanyARD [de]Tuesday, 10/12/2019, 8.15 PMfeature version (90m)
    RepeatGermanyarteTuesday, 10/12/2019, 8.15 PMARTE premiere broadcast
    RepeatAustriaORF [at]Tuesday, 03/12/2019, 10.35 PMepisode 2 (45m)
    First showingAustriaORF [at]Tuesday, 26/11/2019, 10.35 PMepisode 1 (45m)
    RepeatNorwayNRK [no]Friday, 15/11/2019, 7.45 PMepisode 2 (45m)
    First showingNorwayNRK [no]Thursday, 14/11/2019, 9.25 PMepisode 1 (45m)