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The return of the Camelids Back to the list

Number of episodes: 3
Episode's length: 50'
Directors: François Brey & Patrice Desenne
Producer: Grand Angle Productions
Coproducers: ARTE
Language: French & English
Copyright: 2015


From China to South America, in passing through the Sahara, caravan routes have been taken over by mechanized transport.  Now camelids, camels, dromedaries and llamas, must be reconverted, to continue bringing life to the most arid regions of the world. They must support the millions of people who live there, and thus avoid a fatal exodus towards the outskirts of megacities.


Going beyond the outdated image that often accompanies them, we visit 14 countries to explore these camelids - with or without humps ; to meet the men and women, farmers, entrepreneurs and researchers, who innovate and mobilize to create new industries, and thus allow the camelid family, symbol of adaption, resistance and economy, to  play a major role in the modern world. The camelid revolution is advancing!


The Princes with 2 humps

They’re camels, they have 2 humps, and they can resist just about anything: arid deserts, extreme cold, extreme heat, salt water. For 1,500 years, they enjoyed their heyday on the Silk Road, from the orient to the occident. Some have even remained wild, even in the cruelest desert of the world. Where do they come from? Curiously enough, from North America - like their entire family, the camelids. Today, after centuries of indifference, man now views them with renewed interest. Scientists study their mysterious humps. Along with camel milk, they are the foundation of a new dairy industry. Their very fine hair competes with cashmere and wool, but...

The Superdromedaries of the desert

Dromedaries have a hump. For 4,000 years they allowed nomadic tribes to live in a very hostile environment. They are the ships of the desert. Saddle animals, pack animals, the dromedary provides man with its meat, milk, skin ... Where do they come from? Curiously from North America, like the entire camelid family. Today, with the disappearance of caravans, and the settling of peoples, they integrate into the modern world! The production of their milk has become intensive, and cheese is even made from it! The dromedary competes with the horse, with thoroughbreds racing on camel racetracks. It is the object of a high-tech reproduction, but its’ almost...

The Gods of the Andes

Historically, small camelids, humpless camels, have always served as valuable aids to the Andean populations. The llama and its domestic and wild cousins, the alpaca, vicuna and guanaco, provide wool and meat, and transport caravans on the Incan trails. Where do they come from? From the other America, the one to the north, like their entire family, the camelids. Mechanization, urbanization, and hunting have provoked their decline. Today, they are reclaiming their space, more and more. Thanks to the fiber of their fur, the alpacas and vicunas are conquering the world, and help communities to live. The alpacas have come back to the land of their...