Vedere la Scienza Festival

Television drama and Docu-drama Session

Milano   16/11/2006 - 17/11/2006

Sala Napoleonica - Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Sant'Antonio 12 - Milano

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The true story of the Eiffel Tower



  1. Original Title: La légende vraie de la Tour Eiffel
  2. Author: Pascal Laine
  3. Director: Simon Brook
  4. Scientific Advisor: Comité Eiffel
  5. Editor: VAB
  6. Photography: Vincent Jeannot
  7. Music: Laurent Petitgirard
  8. Sound: Stéréo
  9. Starring:
    Jacques Frantz (Gustave Eiffel)
    Nicolas Vaude (Eduard Barbier)
    Bruno Esposito (Valentin Duval)
    Nicky Marbot (Maximilien Duval)
    Julie Marboeuf (Catherine Duval)
  10. Producer: Jean Pierre Dusseaux - VAB
  11. Production: VAB (Groupe JLA)
  12. France
  13. 95 min.
  14. 2005

The True Story of the Eiffel Tower is a docu-drama about the building of one of the best-known monuments in the world. Besides being a real masterpiece of modern engineering, the Eiffel Tower is a great tourist attraction and France's undisputed landmark, visited by over six million people every year.
By carefully blending documentary and drama together, the authors reconstructed the setting in which the monument was built and the lives of the people involved.
The plot unfolds between 1885, when two engineers hired by Gustave Eiffel presented their first design, and 1914, when the military use of the tower as a giant radio antenna turned it from an ambitious, useless metal-made monument into a priceless scientific tool.
The audience accompanies the characters on screen through the different steps of that enterprise and the enormous difficulties encountered, including the danger faced by the approx. 200 workers on a daily basis, the snowstorm of the winter of 1888, the overheating of iron under the summer sun, but above all Gustave Eiffel's strenuous struggle to convince his many opponents that his project was indeed feasible, after overcoming his own scepticism.
In the making of the film, the authors accurately reproduced all historical events even if they otherwise complied with the requirements of a fiction movie. The Eiffel family and the Eiffel Corporation contributed by making their archives available to them. A team made up of historians and researchers worked closely with the producers for several months, providing them with a significant amount of information. Sources for the film also include accurate transcripts of the meetings held at the time about the progress of building operations.

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