CIVILIZATIONS: How Do We Look? (Episode 2)

Documentary CIVILIZATIONS How Do We Look? (Episode 2)

Guests Expected

Jay Xu, Director of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, expected to attend.


Inspired by Kenneth Clark’s landmark 1969 Western art series, Civilization, this new forthcoming powerhouse series co-produced by PBS and BBC is a new, nine-part epic that tells the story of the role art and the creative imagination have played in the forging of humanity. This particular episode concerns ancient cultures and how self-representation helped bind society together. Colossal prehistoric Olmec heads in Mexico set the scene but the episode’s key arguments concern the role of the terracotta warriors, unearthed from the tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. Among the top international experts profiled is San Francisco’s own Jay Xu, Director of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, who will be present for an extended conversation after the episode is aired.

This is a free community screening. Registration required.

“… a reassuringly commanding series, that avoided the obvious and delivered on the scale, seriousness, and ambition its subject demands. And which… I look forward to savoring week by week, morsel by morsel, in the traditional TV way.” — Gerard O’Donovan, The Telegraph

"The new Civilizations certainly doesn’t fail in approachability or watchability. The new title’s acknowledgment of our pluralistic age isn’t the only tweak. Civilizations is written and presented by three fellow historians – Simon Schama takes five episodes, Mary Beard, and David Olusoga take two each. Civilizations also celebrates human creativity and culture, now on a global scale and in a more updated critical spirit. If ever there was a seductive story, humans being civilized is one of our most powerful.” - Nathaniel Budzinski,

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Director Matt Hill

Among Matt Hill’s previous projects are A History of Art in Three Colours (2012), Oh! You Pretty Things: The Story of British Music and Fashion (2014), and The Face of Britain with Simon Schama (2015). “To get into the pit with the warriors is no mean feat. It took months of negotiation with fixers,” Hill says of the challenge involved in filming China’s terracotta warriors. “We were also alive to the fact that the Chinese tourists visiting the site that day may well have travelled a thousand miles to see something that is now part of their origin story and might well be annoyed to see us down there with special access. We had to be respectful.” (The Guardian)

Film Details
  • Premiere status: North American
  • Country(ies): UK
  • Year: 2018
  • Running time: 60
  • Director(s): Matt Hill
  • Producer(s): Melanie Fall, Nutopia, Shaun Trevisick, Matt Hill
  • Editor(s): Andrea Carnevali
  • Music: Tandis Jenhudson
  • With: Simon Schama, Mary Beard, and David Olusoga

Print Source:

PBS Communications