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GER 2012, 100 min

PARABETON presents 17 in Italy and France extant buildings by Italian master-builder Pier Luigi Nervi and ten examples of Ancient Roman architecture made of Opus caementitium.


PARABETON starts with the first still exstant dome built of concrete by the Romans in the 1st century BC in Baiae near Naples. Followed in chronological sequence by 17 buildings of Italian civil-engineer Pier Luigi Nervi (1891-1979) – inventor, grandmaster of concrete structures and the architect’s architect of the 20th century: among others the Pirelli-skysraper in Milano, the Headquarters of Unesco in Paris, the Palazzo del Lavoro in Turin,  the Palazzo dello Sport in Rome and the Papal Audience Hall at Vatican City. This succession is from time to time halted by cinematic studies of large Roman structures, among others the Pantheon and the Baths of Caracalla in Rome and Hadrians Villa in Tivoli. In doing so the film relates Nervi’s path-breaking constructions with the pioneering Roman inventions in his field 2000 years ago.

The film is the first part of the series DECAMPMENT OF MODERNISM with which Heinz Emigholz concludes his series ARCHITECTURE AS AUTOBIOGRAPHY about the origins, fate, glory and decline of modern architecture. In a way, PARABETON is the “grand finale” of the series by going back to the Roman origins of the constructional core of Modernism.


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Language: German


Director, Screenplay and Director of Photography
Heinz Emigholz
Assistant Camera and Postproduction
Till Beckmann
Heinz Emigholz, Till Beckmann
Sound Design
Christian Obermaier
Sound Mixer
Stefan Konken
Assistant Producer
Luca Pisciotta, Markus Ruff
Frieder Schlaich, Irene von Alberti
Produced by
Filmgalerie 451
In Coproduction with
WDR/3sat (Reinhard Wulf)
Founded by
Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien – BKM, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and Filmförderung Hamburg-Schleswig-Holstein


SCHATTENFILM (72 min) with additional shots, building by building navigation, Presskit
International Version (no dialog) 
Country Code
NTSC / Color
100 min + 72 min Extras
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
DD 5.1 + 2.0
Set Content
Softbox (Set-Content: 2), DVD and Blu-ray Disc
Release Date
Info-Programm gemäß §14 JuSchG

Distribution Details

Screening Format
DCP (2K, 24fps, 5.1)
Blu-ray Disc (HD)
Aspect Ratio
HD, 1:1, 85
International Version (no dialog) 
Promotion Material
A1 Poster
License Area
Info-Programm gemäß §14 JuSchG