In January 1998, the Vatican opened the secret archives of the Inquisition for the first time - but only for a few privileged researchers. Although photographers and filmmakers are still kept out, the mere announcement caused an international sensation. Apparently it is impossible to talk to the guardians of the archive - the modern-day inquisitors - about their unique treasure. And filming inside the archive itself is absolutely unthinkable. However, the film “The Secret Inquisition” managed to do both, for the first time and as a world exclusive.
Countless mysteries, puzzles and questions covering 500 years of world history still slumber in the Palace of the Holy Office, the headquarters of the Catholic Inquisition. Our film exposes the search for answers in the middle of the legendary archive of Western civilisation. And - a fact revealed by the documentary - it still exists today, the Inquisition.
“The Secret Inquisition” is a three-part docu-drama which tells the true story of the Inquisition, from its roots in the 16th century at the spearhead of the Counter-Reformation right up until the modern day. To do so we employ stories, scenes from feature films, top-quality interviews, commentaries and previously unseen images from the heart of the Inquisition itself, its secret archive.
Robert Wittmers / Sylvester Groth / Johannes Kiebranz
Michael Baum, Jörg Geißler, Michael Wiesweg
ZDF Werner Kaltefleiter
ZDF / arte