The Black Sea Coast

ZDF/ARTE, 2018, 5×52 min. and NDR 2×45 min.

The Black Sea at the edge of Europe: For a long time it was almost inaccessible. The fascinating coasts with their steep cliffs, sandy shores and impressive harbour towns remained hidden. It is the region that geologists suspect could have been the scene of the biblical Flood. In the north European and in the south Asian, six countries around the Black Sea are connected as neighbours and at the same time could hardly be more different: Romania and Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia and Turkey.

In the 5-part series we meet people who give the region its face today: in old fishing villages, on remote beaches, in fashionable metropolises or in the mountainous hinterland. Whether castle owners or tea producers, musicians or fishermen, captains or cooks, simple craftsmen or rich businesswomen – they are all shaped by this mysterious sea, which is unusually dark and up to 2,200 metres deep.

By the way, the name goes back to the Ottomans: in Turkish, the Black Sea was translated as “Kara Deniz” – the big, dark, murky sea. In some places the settlement history on the coast goes back more than 3,000 years. Then as now, the peoples mixed on the shores of the Black Sea. Situated between Asia and Europe, the region was once a hub of old trade routes. Its long, eventful history has made it what it is today: a land full of tensions and contrasts, shaped by old traditions and a euphoric atmosphere of new beginnings.

“The Black Sea” dares to take stock: Which values, which challenges and which hopes shape the lives of the people of this for us so unknown corner of the world?

Written and directed by: Nadja Frenz, Steven Galling, Sabine Howe, Heike Nikolaus
Treatment: Özgür Uludağ
Camera: Jan Kerhart, Stefan Paul
Editorial team: Marita Hübinger (ZDF/ARTE)
Producer: Sandra Maischberger