The Works of Man

Documentary film The Works of Man

By the year 2100, 80% of the world’s population will be living in cities. While the megalopolises mutate into hostile growths, we look back with longing at the hospitable structures of Medieval towns which seem to have evolved naturally. But what is their magic actually based upon, and what can we learn from them with a view to the cities of the future?
For the past ten years, the German architect and urban planner, Klaus Humpert, has been studying the structural principles of Medieval towns. His discoveries are nothing less than sensational: the “naturally evolved” town of the Middle Ages is a complete myth. Just like our inhospitable suburbs, they were planned down to the last detail on the drawing board before being built on the green meadows. The Works of Man tells the story of Humpert’s exciting voyage of discovery. Specialists will provide additional information, and opponents of Humpert’s theories will explain why they do not agree with his views. Ultimately, however, our hero will reign victorious.


52 mins.


Academia Film Olomouc 2004
FICA Brazil 2006


Written and directed by Dominik Wessely
Photographed by Knut Schmitz
Edited by Ellen Scheider
Supported by MFG Stuttgart
A co-production with SWR/ARTE
First broadcast: 18.05.2004 on ARTE