What do we really know about the origins of life? Scientists are always in search of new elements of information. In Ethiopia, a unique volcanic site, where numerous hydrothermal events take place, features the most extreme conditions, similar to those surrounding the emergence of life on earth. For the very first time, a French and Spanish research team have decided to visit the location, in the hope of discovering new microbial lineage that could explain the origin of life. With its incredible array of colours, Dallol is a vast mound that looms up out of the Danakil Depression known for its extreme salinity levels. For some scientists, it is a dream come true, affording the perspective of perhaps providing answers to the fundamental question of how life was formed on earth. And, therefore, could it exist on other planets? Filmmaker and photographer Olivier Grunewald, who is familiar with the site and with active volcanic zones, recounts the expedition and the scientific questioning. 

The scientific team of the project is from the Ecologie Systématique Evolution group, and is part of the Université Paris Sud and the CNRS.
The director Olivier Grunewald, a photographer specialised in volcanism, knows the zone well, which he has already visited four times.
Olivier Grunewald has already directed or co-directed two 52-minute documentaries, Kawah Ijen Volcano and the Mystery of the Blue Flames (2014) and Nyiragongo, Journeys to the Center of the Earth  (2015).

Producer: Camera Lucida Productions (Sylvie Gautier, François Bertrand)
Broadcasters: Ushuaia TV & TV5Monde
Distribution: CPB International

© Camera Lucida Productions - 2016