Storm across Asia – Alexander the Great conquers the world


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In the middle of July, in 326 B.C., on the bank of Hydaspes, a tributary of the Indus. Monsoon rain lashes the country for weeks. Used to victory, Alexander’s soldiers are demoralized by illness and the extreme climate. They marched 8,000 kilometers in eight years. In history’s greatest war, thus far, they conquered almost the entire world, which was known in those days: from Greece to India, from Egypt to the Caucasus. Alexander insists on going through Asia to the ends of the earth. But the soldiers refuse to follow him. There is a mutiny. The unprecedented triumphant advance threatened to end in a disaster.


ZDF, arte, 1996
Length: 43/53 minutes
Written and directed by: Jens-Peter Behrend, Eike Schmitz
Camera: Lars Barthel
Editor: Ellen Bader
Music: Torsten Sense
Narrator: Christian Brückner
Commissioning editor: Hans-Christian Huf
German or English version

Despite the mortal effort, Alexander succeeds in making a triumph of his retreat, through the desert to Babylon. His goal, uniting Europe and Asia, is expressed by the mass wedding at Susa.

Alexander’s mysterious character, his alcoholic excesses, the murder of his best friends, his magnanimity to many of his enemies, his unexpected death at the age of 33, at the height of his power – all that forms the stuff of which legends are made.

The film team sets out in search of tracks of the greatest ancient military operation; in Egypt, where the temple still stands, in which he was made a god; in Persia, where the enormous ruins of the palace that Alexander had burnt down still stand; in Tajikistan, where archaeologists discovered the most northern city of Alexander’s empire, and in the remote valleys of Hindukush where descendants of Alexander’s soldiers still live.

”Storm across Asia” is a film about the reasons and conditions for the lasting fascination of the myth of “Alexander the Great”.