Dirk van den Berg
dirk [at] 1979bigbang.com
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 it didn't take long and the Soviet "Empire of Evil" crumbled as well. That felt like the end of an era. Historian Francis Fukuyama didn’t lose time to announce that the end of history had cometh: "That's it, ladies and gentlemen, please move on, there's nothing more to see here". But history wasn’t over by a long shot. On the contrary: the end of communism was just one of the remarkable results of a new era - an era that silently begun 10 years earlier.
What was happening in the world in 1979?
Iranians overthrew the shah and began an Islamic Revolution ruled by Imam Ayatollah Khomeini, immediately questioning Saudi Arabia's dominance over Islam. Behind the Iron Curtain, the Poles listened to a new Polish pope who told them that their faith was stronger than communist dogma and dictatorship.
In Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher was elected Prime Minister and jump-started the revival of liberal market economics in the UK and the entire Western hemisphere. China was set on a new economic course by Deng Xiaoping, who opened up his giant country to the world. Whereas the Soviets made the fatal decision to invade Afghanistan, initiating the process of self-destruction of the USSR and Communism as a whole…
Forty years later, these new protagonists and the events they triggered not only still have a profound influence but were the zero-hour of the era we live in today. 1979 was the Big Bang of our present.
Today the Americans are in Afghanistan, fighting the sons of the people they once armed, while the Russians make pacts with the Taliban. Thatcher's free-market model brought the biggest financial crisis since the Depression
A FILM ABOUT THE BIRTH OF THE 21st CENTURY
BY DIRK VAN DEN BERG & PASCAL VERROUST
where banks were bailed out while many lost everything, and that paved the way for Brexit. China has become the world's factory, and Deng Xiaoping's heirs are rapidly gaining on the American hyperpower, with the Chinese GDP forecast to lead the world by 2027. And radical Islamism, the most terrifying legacy of 1979, continues to inspire an invisible network of terrorists, holding the world firmly in its grip far beyond Iran and Saudi Arabia.
WIth this film, writers/producers/directors DIRK VAN DEN BERG and PASCAL VERROUST will narrate the untold story that began in 1979 and since then shaped our world. It is a story whose effects continue to influence our daily lives to this day. And that will help us all understand why our present is like it is.
No one saw it coming. But our modern age owes much to 1979 - THE BIG BANG OF THE PRESENT.
1979 - BIG BANG OF THE PRESENT
DIRK VAN DEN BERG
pascal [at] 1979bigbang.com
PASCAL VERROUST's new production company K2 PRODUCTIONS. A veteran producer and writer, Pascal for the past 30 years has created many successful and visionary films for French and international cinema and television. Before co-producing THE SIEGE OF MECCA, he 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 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 former musician and feature film director, since Dirk shofted 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 siege of Mecca that changed world history in 1979. The film was produced by Dirk's Berlin-based OUTREMER FILM jointly with…
with the participation of