In the Shadow of Volcanoes

5 x 45' (ENG, GER)

What does it mean to live in the shadow of a volcano that can erupt at any time?

Millions of people around the world live in the shadow of a volcano. We will immerse into this precarious style of living by choosing five situations that are unique among the volcano communities of the world. Three of these communities are located in the country with the two most active volcanoes in Europe - Italy, one in Spain and one in Greece.. By way of our unique access to geologists, volcanologists, agronomists, archaeologists and civil defence operatives, as well as our natural, unscripted interactions with the local people residing there, we will tell you the story of what it is like to live in the shadow of five volcanoes.

  • Trailer

    Trailer - Nonverbal
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  1. Vesuvius: No Way Out

    Vesuvius has erupted 30 times in recorded history, and is overdue for another eruption. The last was in 1944 and killed 26 people. Today the city of Naples and the towns that surround the mountain are inhabited by over 3 million people. The houses of the city have been built so close to the summit and with such poor urban planning that the labyrinth of roads would make escape from the lava flows and boiling ashes almost impossible.

  2. Campi Flegrei: The Heat Beneath

    The arc of Tyrrhenian volcanoes that stretches from Pozzuoli north of Naples to Sicily is one of the most active in the world. The archetypal “restless volcano” is also close to one of Europe’s most densely populated areas. Though it hasn’t erupted since 1538, it has shown worrying signs on and off since the 1970s.

  3. Etna: Living with Lava

    Mount Etna is Europe’s largest non-submerged volcano. At more than 3000 meters high it is also a stunning sight from the sea – dominating the Eastern Sicilian coast. Like all Italian volcanoes this one began at the bending fault line where the Euroasian and African continental plates meet and twist. Over hundreds of thousands of years the volcano has produced spectacular eruptions and lava flows . The ash has made the plains around the mountain extremely fertile, growing the best oranges and fine wines.

  4. Nysiros/Kos: Greek Tragedy

    The volcano is extremely active and continues to eject gases. If it were to explode, the Nysros/Kos volcano complex would wipe out the islands of the Aegean with a massive Tsunami. The East Aegean chain of volcanos stretches all along the adduction line between the Asian and African continents and has destroyed more than one Mediterranean civilization. We follow a family of fishermen and hear the way they feel about living under the shadow of the volcano.

  5. Lanzarote: Where ash Converts to Money

    Known as the island of 100 volcanoes, Lanzarote is the easternmost island in the Canary Islands. Volcanic cones are dotted across the island’s dramatic landscape, forged by the struggle between fire and water. Eruptions over the centuries destroyed much of the island, leaving an underground labyrnth of lava tubes and secret underwater lakes. The award winning wines cultivated here in a unique agricultural practice show just how resilient both man and nature are.


  • Original Title
    Im Schatten der Vulkane
  • Year
  • Length
    5 x 45' (ENG, GER)
  • Resolution
  • Film by
    Paul Russel, Andrea Vogt
  • Produced by
  • Trailer

    Trailer - Nonverbal