Several billion tons of earth are moved annually by humans – with shovels, excavators or dynamite. Nikolaus Geyrhalter observes people in mines, quarries, large construction sites in a constant struggle to appropriate the planet. 

A portrait of the Earth in the Anthropocene – at seven locations that humans have transformed on a grand scale. Initially shown from above as abstract paintings, these terrains are subsequently explored on the ground: The film weaves together observational footage of machines in operation with conversations with the workers. Alongside statements on work processes, environmental damage and technological change, Erde makes this constructed world visible in unique fashion by subtly paring it down: the piles of grey matter, hills and mountains. The blackness and the cracks. The sandy landscapes, criss-crossed by an array of mechanical devices that scuttle about like caterpillars or worms. The dimensions are gigantic, the proportions out of control; the world has slipped from humanity’s grasp.

“There is always a bigger machine, a bigger engine and when all fails there is dynamite. We always win.” Or do we?

  • Program
  • Original title
  • Director
    Nikolaus Geyrhalter
  • Producer
    Michael Kitzberger
  • Writers
    Nikolaus Geyrhalter
  • Photo
    Nikolaus Geyrhalter
  • Playtime
    1 h 55 min
  • Year
  • Country
  • Age limit
  • Production
    Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion