previous arrow
next arrow

Dante: Inferno to Paradise

By acclaimed filmmaker Ric Burns, explores the riveting life and times of Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) and his soaring masterpiece "The Divine Comedy" – one of the greatest achievements in the history of Western literature.

Airing on PBS: 03/18/24 at 8pm (MST) - Rating: NR

DANTE: Inferno to Paradise is a two-part, four-hour documentary film chronicling the life, work and legacy of the great 14th century Florentine poet, Dante Alighieri, and his epic masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, one of the greatest achievements in the history of Western Literature

dantealighieriThe ambition of the film, which combines powerful dramatic reenactments, colorful interviews with renowned scholars, exquisite archival material and scenic filming, is to bring to life and make accessible, to the widest possible audience, the transformative power and beauty of this singular work of art. The film is divided into two two-hour episodes.

Part One: Inferno explores the historical background of medieval Florence from 1216 to Dante's birth in 1265, and recounts the dramatic details of Dante’s childhood, education and early literary and political career, culminating in his exile in 1302. The film also examines his decision to begin The Divine Comedy in 1306 – plunging with Dante and his readers into the underworld itself where, guided by the great Roman poet, Virgil, he will meet a vast cohort of historical and mythological figures – and arriving finally at the very bottom of hell, in their encounter with Lucifer himself.

Part Two: Resurrection explores Dante’s experience in exile, and his completion of the last two parts of the Comedy, shortly before his death in Ravenna in 1321. Interweaving soaring scenes drawn from Purgatory and Paradise, the film goes on to explore the afterlife and literary and cultural fate of Dante’s masterpiece from the time of his death down to today.