Rocks of Ages – Sandstone – The Play with Color and Light


For millions of years stones have formed the foundation
mankind moves on across the earth. Rocks are everywhere
and in a sense are the memory of our Planet.
A journey through space and time. From petrified waves
to chiseled palaces. From granite behemoths to black
silvery basalt to fire – breathing mountains.

A journey of 3.700 miles with the filmmaker Petra Haffter through the unprotectet landscape of the American West. From Utah to New Mexico.
By entering the crevice, the unbelievable play of colors begins.

The Slot Canyon - „Slot“ means dream in the language of the Navaho is the beginning of an unreal world out of sandstone.

Traveling on to Kanab. Pathways from here lead to major tourist attractions such as the Grand Canyon.
We find a sandstone shop run by the family Brown. For three generations manufacturing picture frames, small souvenirs made from fine laminated sandstone are for sale.

But the dream destination is THE WAVE. Everyone who has seen photos of it will want to go there too.
The Wave in the „Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness“ is one of the most unusual and unreachable areas in the spectacular western USA.

And we see „Bryce Canyon“ a Natioal Park with roads, trails and tourist seems like a forest of stone. A sea of cathedrals and candelabras.

Living in a cave, espacially in soft sandstone has a history. Near the Colorado Plateau
ancient people used natural alcoves in the red stone and build their „pueblos“.
Today, far from the nearest town, a fudamentalist Mormon and his two wives living with their 15 children in a sandstone crave.

Sandstone is one of the most dangerous rocks to climb. I't s soft and it crumbles. But on the Colorado River near Moab there is a mecca for climbers. What's the attraction?

At the Four Corners Monument we meet Karen Pete a woman who celebrates ritual sandpaintings and belief in the power of the Healing God.

In New Mexico on the end of our journey we watch Ra Paulette the „cave digger“ as he calls himself. He builds windows in the earth. Ra digs like a mole into the soft Ojo Caliente sandstone with his own hands.

From Sand to stone and back again.

Filmographic details

Year 2015
Country USA
First run 21.10.2015
Rights Worldwide
Runtime 52 Min.
Channel Arte
Author Petra Haffter
Director Petra Haffter
Camera Philip Flämig
Audio Mike Glöckner
Cut Armin Riegel
Music Damir Price
Production Hennes Grossmann, Katja Lau
Editing Susanne Mertens