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California! Episode Three

If it weren’t for California, our world would be very different. For more than a century, the State of California has served as the world’s test laboratory. Personal computers, antimilitarism, fitness, blockbuster movies, hippie culture, the iPhone and electric cars. Whether it’s Elon Musk firing rockets into space, Steve Jobs declaring that work is fun, Jane Fonda protesting against the Vietnam War in a tank top or doing aerobics in a leotard, the world is in awe of these people whose attitude towards life and innovative spirit continually revolutionize the world. But how did it happen? 

From the days of the first settlers, California has always been a daring idea, an attempt at building utopia. The 19th-century gold rush laid the foundation of the Californian self-understanding that continues to shape its citizens today: a gambler mindset, multiculturalism, and the pursuit of happiness. To be visionary, venture into the unknown and make tomorrow’s mistakes today are all components of California’s DNA. 

Nowhere else in the world has such a magnetic attraction for talented people as California. There is no other place where so many people from different nations live together, and no other place where the gap between rich and poor is so vast. Contradictions are part of the Californian mentality. It’s the birthplace of McDonald’s and the organic food movement, of Flower Power and artificial intelligence, of Hollywood and the porn industry, of mass riots and sit-ins. The duality of these extremes lends the series its suspense and story arc.

An unparalleled love for auto culture came hand in hand with landmark legislation on behalf of the environment, emission standards and to protect California‚Äôs magnificent coastline, leading the way for similar legislation around the planet for more than 100 years. The duality of these extremes lends the series its suspense and story arc. 

This three part series shows the captivating state through the eyes of visionaries from culture, science, technology, sports, and politics. Their ideas have transformed California and shaped the world. And their life stories are depictions of the inner workings of a society that is continually reinventing itself. In the wake of student revolts, race riots, earthquakes, and economic crises, they have always cast aside any self-doubt, gotten back on their feet and created something new. It’s as if they needed the routine destruction of what already existed to live. 

Available for French and Spanish Speaking territories only

PRODUCTION INFO

  • Year: 2023
  • Duration: 3 x 50 mins
  • Production: Spiegel TV
  • Director:
  • Available Versions: ENG, GER
  • Country of production: Germany

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