Doku-Drama “Witchhunt in Salem” for ARTE

That’s a wrap! in Salem

In the beginning of August, our team returned from filming in New England. For three weeks we joined the witches of Salem.

Fear, madness, terror. More than 300 years ago, a young community in Salem, New England, brought itself to the rim of extinction. 25 innocent people were sentenced to death and hanged as witches. What remained was a broken community in the New World. Still today, the events of Salem 1692 are a trauma, an episode of disgrace in US American history. In the 20th century the events of Salem got worldwide notice through Arthur Millers‘ novel „The Crucible“. For Miller, the historical material became a parable of the Red Scare, the hunt on communists in the USA in the 1940s and 50s.

For ARTE, WESTEND researched this dark period of the history in Salem. Who were the suspected witches? Who were the bewitched? How did the Puritans live and how did their community work? And what do these events tell us about the nature of humans and our current problems? In interviews with experts from different fields, we spoke about the witch trials and their effects. Among them are Harvard professor David D. Hall, historian Emerson Tad Baker and author Katherine Howe. The ideal filming location for the reenactments was Pioneer Village in modern Salem. There, and on the terrain of Appleton Farms, we revived the events of Salem in 1692 with the performance collective “History Alive!”.

Abschiedsbild Crew Szene "Afflicted Girls" Szene Salem Witches  Auf dem Feld Afflicted Girls  salem-witches-13

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