Charles V. – The Impossible Empire

1 x 52 min / 1 x 45 min
except for Germany and France

500 years ago, 19-year-old Spanish King Carlos I became the German “King of the Romans” and shortly thereafter was crowned Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. His vast power was sustained with money borrowed from the Fugger family, the loans secured with silver from the Spanish colonies in America. The new emperor had a grand plan: to unify Europe as a single great Christian empire, an “El Dorado” built on a unified faith. But the extermination of the Aztecs and Incas in his name plunged pious Charles into a deep crisis of conscience. His European mission – once so promising – was soon challenged by the Reformation. The film shows Charles as a humanist and as a warrior. An emperor prepared to enforce his idealistic goals and his religious convictions by war, financed with silver stolen from the New World. Instead, the European church itself was torn apart. In the end, Charles V’s El Dorado was doomed by intolerance. The story of his impossible mission is a dramatic tale of the early modern age, a moment in history that intriguingly mirrors the contradictions of today’s globalised world.The film re-enacts key historical events in feature film quality, supported by newly discovered documentation.

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