Gotthard - Mountain Pass of Pioneers


Documentary | 2018 | HD | 90 minutes

GOTTHARD - Mountain Pass of Pioneers

a film by Verena Schönauer

The Gotthard is one of the most important Alpine crossings in Europe today. The film tells the exciting story of its development - from the small path through the high mountains to the longest railway tunnel in the world.
Once traders and pilgrims crossed the pass on foot in about 30 hours from Flüelen to Bellinzona. In the 19th century carriages of the Gotthard Post for the first time connected people in the north and south with daily mail traffic. In 1872 begins the construction of an ice rink route on the Gotthard. Contractor Louis Favre, signs a risky contract: In only eight years he wants to build a 15-kilometer tunnel through the massif. He deposits eight million francs which expire if the construction time is exceeded. Soon rockfalls and floods endanger Favre's ambitious plan.
Today, above all, global warming poses major problems for the people of the Gotthard region. Using a variety of methods specialists try to mitigate their effects and better predict the long-term consequences.
The Gurschengletscher, situated right above Andermatt, is to be saved from melting-off by a 10,000 square meter fleece cover.
A permafrost researcher examines the effects of global warming on the stability of the mountains at the Gotthard massif. Above all, she wants to use her data to better predict large landslides that can devastate entire villages.
In Ticino, a very special lake offers scientists an insight into the origins of life on our planet. Some people hope to find the answer to the question of eternal life here in the heart of the Alps.



Director: Verena Schönauer
Camera: Thomas Riedelsheimer
Editing: Verena Schönauer
Music: Fabian Römer
Production: Filmquadrat.dok GmbH
Editor: Ulrike Becker, SWR


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