History Science 2X52'


Late 16th century. Matteo Ricci was one of the first European Jesuits to set foot in imperial China. There, the missionary became aware of the advances made by this civilization in cosmology and astronomy, disciplines that were the very foundation of imperial authority. The time is ripe for an unprecedented historical and scientific encounter between East and West. 


Trained in geometry and algebra, Matteo Ricci was fascinated by the precision and progress of Chinese methods and instruments. In the heart of the Forbidden City, the art of measuring time and predicting celestial phenomena played an essential role, inseparable from political life. With the Copernican revolution looming in the West, the missionary decides to use his knowledge of science and mathematics as a weapon to convert the emperor and his people to Christianity...


Thanks to thrilling historical reconstructions, unprecedented access to Chinese astronomical laboratories (ancient and modern) and expert contributions, this docudrama plunges us at the core of imperial China - at the turn of the Ming and Qing dynasties - and brings to life this historical moment, at the crossroads of science, politics and religion.

  1. The Jesuits Conquering the Forbidden City
  2. The Trial of the Jesuits

Direction: Cédric Condon 

Production: Point du Jour & Infocus Asia for ARTE France, CCTV and CICC

Languages: French, English

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