Rare Earths

A film by Christian Schidlowski

Hightech’s Dark Side

Rare earths are a necessary part of future technologies. We need them to survive. But they have a dark side. They can poison our environment, destroy entire landscapes and can even cause death. Because of these problems, the scarcity of rare earth deposits, and the sky-rocketing prices on the international commodity market, scientists around the world are looking for new, better ways to source these minerals. Their methods are surprising. Can they find more environmentally friendly ways of excavating and processing the materials? Is it possible to recycle the materials from old mobile phones and computers? And what about future technologies that can replace rare earths altogether? This documentary will provide a fascinating insight into the cutting-edge research that could make our green technologies of the future even greener.


ZDF / ARTE – 2013 – 52 min


Main Prize Science & Technology, Ekotopfilm Bratislava, Ekofilm Brno, Nature Film Festival Matsalu, International Science Film Festival Athens,

Life Sciences Film Festival Prag, Academia Film Olomouc Tschechien, Science Film Festival Bangkok – Ecofilmprize

Camera: Christian Schidlowski, Sun Shaoguang, Danny Vincent

Sound: Carolin Neubauer

Editing: Christian Schidlowski

Music: Nils Kacirek

Research: China: Gemila Li

Commissioning Editor: Ann-Christin Hornberger