The series Metropolis - The Power of Cities takes us to the very heart of urban life in the Mediterranean area, the hub of the ancient world. The mighty metropolises of antiquity evolved here from a scattering of settlements. And not one city is like the next. Each developed in its own characteristic fashion, each uniquely marked by its geographical location, its cultural environment, and the prevailing historical circumstances.
The documentaries examines a crucial step in the history of civilization and culture. Mankind has advanced to a settled lifestyle, allowing him to organize large social alliances which extend far beyond family and clan. The consequences are critical changes in all facets of life - providing for these cities and city-states now becomes the overriding focus. Hundreds of thousands of people now living together necessitated immense administrative effort, master builders had to shoulder the full responsibility for a city's architectural urban planning, and order and justice had to be ensured. People became specialized, professions came into being and as they did, so did social differences: Kings, priests, craftsmen, farmers and warriors. Suddenly, there were major assets to defend. Our series examines this historical change of mankind banding together using the example of the great metropolises in the Mediterranean region.
Computer animation and lavishly staged scenes allow us to spotlight the past centers of culture, religion and power in all their splendor. We experience fantastic stage spectacles in Athens, pick our way through Rome's narrow crooked lanes at nightfall shortly before the legionnaires set off a new campaign, watch the famous shipbuilders at work in the port of Carthage, and ascend the seventh wonder of the ancient world, Alexandria's lighthouse. We experience the everyday life of the common people, encounter invention and innovation, drink in the joy and constraints of ancient life. Making everyday life of former times come alive and real, portraying how people congregated and lived together in these centers of power, that is the underlying objective behind the series