On August 24th, 79 a. D., Mount Vesuvius suddenly woke up from its century-long sleep and caused one of the most famous eruptions in history. Despite being alerted by the increasing force of the weak but nevertheless continuous tremors they had been feeling for some days, and still remindful of the severe earthquake that had taken place 16 years before, the inhabitants of Herculaneum could not possibly know what fate had in store for them on that day. The film stems from an extraordinary research project involving archaeologists, volcanologists and anthropologists, which has been published in Nature magazine. Its aim is to cast some light on the mysteries that still shroud that terrible eruption by recreating in detail the precise chain of events that took place in Herculaneum during those last, fatal 24 hours.
A well-balanced mix of computer animation, docudrama sequences and laboratory experiments results in a scientific “detective story” that manages to recreate the last day in the life of the inhabitants of Herculaneum based on a careful analysis of the details resulting from this researchwork.
Winner of the audience-awarded Città di Rovereto-Archeologia Viva prize at the 14th International Archaeological Film Festival.