Breakpoint – A Counter History of Progress

L’Homme a mangé la terre

DIRECTOR(S): Jean-Robert Viallet   COUNTRY: France   YEAR: 2018   LANGUAGE(S): French   SUBTITLES: English   RUNNING TIME: 90 min

SECTION: International Forum 2019

Wednesday, 09.10., 8.45 pm, Caritas-Pirckheimer-Haus


For the last two centuries progress has been our reason for being; progress has provided us with better ways of living. But progress has also given us napalm, pesticides, nuclear waste and global warming. And progress significantly altered our planet for the long term. It can be measured in the atmosphere, in the ice caps and in sediment layers.
In the last 40 years, the global scientific community has intensified research and warnings. They regard our times as a new geological era. By this reasoning, we are not merely living in an environmental crisis, but rather a geological revolution caused by mankind. This new epoch has been dubbed the Anthropocene: The Age of Man.
What are the historical landmarks, the scientific and technological discoveries and the political and industrial choices at the source of this major change? Mixing footage and propaganda images with an original soundtrack, BREAKPOINT looks back at 200 years of development to provide an alternative view of our history of progress.


Jean-Robert Viallet began his career as a DOP for directors such as Patrick Barberis, Eric Deroo, David Rosanis, William Karel, Malek Bensmail, etc. He also occasionally worked for features by Tony Gatlif, Michael Winterbottom or Lars Von Trier. Since the early 2000’s, he writes and directs his own documentaries, broadcasted in France by France Televisions or Arte.


Tranquility Bay (2005), Kill the messenger (2007), The Killing of work (2009), Facing France (2013), Jusqu’à ce que la mort nous sépare & Le mauvais oeil (2015), Higher Education: The New Global Economic War (2017), Breakpoint – A Counter History of Progress (2018)

SCRIPT: Jean-Robert Viallet   PRODUCERS: Victor Ede, Alexandre Cornu, Anton Iffland Stettner, Eva Kuperman   CAMERA: Jean-Robert Viallet   EDITOR: Tal Zana   MUSIC: Marek Hunhap 

PRODUCTION: Cinéphage Productions, Les Films du Tambour de Soie , Stenola Productions, MuCEM – Musée des civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée, CNRS Images , RTBF – Radio Télévision Belge Francophone   WORLD SALES: Olivier Semonnay, Java Films, ARTE France