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PROTAGONISTS

Deng Xiaoping in 1979

DIRK VAN DEN BERG

dirk [at] 1979bigbang.com

a film by

DIRK VAN DEN BERG & PASCAL VERROUST

Margaret Thatcher in 1979
Pope John Paul II in 1979

1979 - 2019

PASCAL VERROUST

pascal [at] 1979bigbang.com

PASCAL VERROUST is a veteran producer and writer who for the past 30 years has created many successful and visionary films for French and international cinema and television. With his Paris-based production company K2 PRODUCTIONS, in 2018 he co-produced THE SIEGE OF MECCA together with Dirk van den Berg. Before that, Pascal created films such as "L'homme sur les quais" directed by Raoul Peck (Official Competition, Cannes Film Festival); "Karnaval" by Thomas Vincent (Best First Film Prize, Berlin Int'l Film Festival); "Rien à faire" by Marion Vernoux (official Competition, Venice Film Festival); "Cong Binh, the lost fighters of Vietnam" by Lam Lé. Pascal Verroust is a member of the CNC and of the Labour Union of French Independent Producers.

DIRK VAN DEN BERG is a director, writer and producer with wide international experience. A feature film director, since Dirk changed to documentary about 10 years ago, his preferred areas of work are the Middle East, the Maghreb and Africa. His new documentary THE SIEGE OF MECCA” (aka “Le Siège de la Mecque”, aka "Mekka 1979 – Urknall des Terrors?"), supported by ARTE France, NDR, WDR, HR, RBB, ORF, FFHSH Hamburg and INA France and distributed world-wide by PBS International. THE SIEGE OF MECCA is the first comprehensive investigation of the battle for Islam's Holiest Site that in 1979 changed world history. Dirk's Berlin-based production company OUTREMER FILM co-produced the film with his French partner…

WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF

WORLD SALES

ELINA KEWITZ

elina [at] newdocs.de

LUISA SCHWAMBORN

luisa [at] newdocx.de

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.

PASCAL VERROUST

DIRK VAN DEN BERG

With their feature documentary film, directors-producers DIRK VAN DEN BERG and PASCAL VERROUST will narrate how the events on 1979 define our lives until today.

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.

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.

1979 - Religion, The 2nd Force
1979 - Economics, The 1st Force
1979 - Politics, The 3rd Force

JAN BERRIS

She coordinated the Chinese press during Deng's visit to the US in 1979 and is heading the National Committee on US-China relations.

CHAHLA CHAFIQ

In 1979 a student at Tehran University, she went underground, left the country in 1980 and today is a well-known writer in France.

Deng Xiaoping in 1979
Margaret Thatcher in 1979
Pope John Paul II in 1979

LESZEK BALCEROWICZ

A young economist and party member in 1979, he developed the radical plan to transform Poland into a free market economy.  

HAIDEH DARAGAHI

In 1979 she was a professor of literature in Tehran. The revolution, made her become a women’s rights activist and a fighter.

CHAS FREEMAN

A former diplomat, he is a legendary figure of U.S.-China relations who has actively shaped international politics for more than four decades..

Deng Xiaoping in 1979
Margaret Thatcher in 1979
Pope John Paul II in 1979

STANISLAW CIOSEK

A member of the Polish communist party, he channeled Solidarnosc's peacful integration into the state and became Poland's last ambassador to the USSR.

ROY HATTERSLEY

A former Minister of Defence and long-time deputy leader of the Labour party, he is an author and a journalist with an acute sense of humour.

Deng Xiaoping in 1979
Margaret Thatcher in 1979
Pope John Paul II in 1979

ROGER GARSIDE

A former diplomat and in 1979 the First Secretary at the British embassy, he witnessed first hand the most tranformative years of China.

CHARLES MOORE

A former editor of The Daily Telegraph, The Spectator and The Sunday Telegraph, he is known globally for his authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher

SHAHIN NAWAI

A biologist by trade, she founded the largest women organisation of the Iranian revolution

and became one of the most prominent women’s rights activists of her generation .

Deng Xiaoping in 1979
Margaret Thatcher in 1979
Pope John Paul II in 1979

WEI JINGSHENG

From an electrician he became a political dissident, openly challenged Deng Xiaoping, was thrown in prison for 16 years and today is considered the "Father of Chinese Democracy".

DAVID OWEN

He was Great Britain's youngest Foreign Secretary, left the Labour party to create his own, is a physician by trade and an author by passion,

EVA QUISTORP

A protestant theologian and activist in women's, peace and environmental movement, she co-founded the "Grünen" alongside Petra Kelly.

Deng Xiaoping in 1979
Margaret Thatcher in 1979
Pope John Paul II in 1979

CHRIS NIEDENTHAL

British-born and for many years the only western press photographer behind the Iron Curtain, his photos captured the transformation of Poland.

LECH WALESA

The second electrician among our protagonists, he is the co-founder of Solidarnosc, became Poland's first freely elected President.

ALFRED WIERZBICKI

As a student at the Catholic university of Lublin, he witnessed how John Paul II transformed Poland. He is a Theologian and an Ethicist.

Deng Xiaoping in 1979
Margaret Thatcher in 1979
Pope John Paul II in 1979

HANNA SUCHOCKA

A lawyer in 1979, she became Poland's first female Prime Minister, Polish ambassador to the Holy See and a confidante of Pope John Paul II.

TEAM

OUTREMER FILM and K2 PRODUCTIONS PRESENT

GERMANY

ARTE / ARD


DEC 10, 20:15

SWITZERLAND

RTS


DEC 8, 22:00

AUSTRIA

ORF2 episode 2


DEC 3, 22:35

AUSTRIA

ORF2 episode 1


NOV 26, 22:35

FRANCE

ARTE


DEC 10, 20:50

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