Unalterable and recyclable as soon as it is heated to 1,064°C, gold has always been the king metal. Its technical virtues combined with the fascination it exerts the halo of a mythology that a documentary broadcast on Arte traces in two episodes. Nourished by the points of view of historians, archaeologists or miners, the film reminds us that, since prehistory, this “flesh of the gods” has been used to signify a high social status, to the point of embodying the notion of luxury on its own.
From gold, the documentary dissects the geological origins and the legends that surround it (like the Golden Fleece). It evokes the scholars who were interested in it (sometimes in secret, like Isaac Newton) and its different uses (adornment, currency)… The viewer can also approach the oldest gold mine in the world, that of Sakdrisi, in Georgia. Discovered in 2004 and initially intended to serve as a research field, it was privatized in 2014 under pressure from a mining company, eager to exploit its deposit. Which makes the witnesses say that “economic interests took precedence over archaeological value” and proves that gold, whose price has multiplied by five in thirty years, remains more than ever an object of desire.
Gold, adornment of kings and gods And Gold, between myth and reality (2 × 52 minutes), by Tanja Dammertz and Almut Faass, on Arte on February 18 from 8:50 p.m. Replay on arte.tv until May 18.
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