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(c) WDR

aRBeIT HeIMAt oPeL | eIN wERk VerSCHWInDEt

(c) WDR

Films

Home Hope Opel (Arbeit Heimat Opel)

In December 2014 Opel finally stopped manufacturing cars in Bochum. The documentary film ‘Home Hope Opel’ portrays six young men who start apprenticeships as industrial mechanics in 2009. While they are dealing with a new phase of their lives and entering a life of work for the first time, Opel is increasingly caught up in the effects of the international financial crisis and comes under considerable economic pressure.

The filmmakers Michael Loeken and Ulrike Franke accompany Jerome, André, Sinan, Tim, Marius and Marcel, sharing their hopes and fears in this unsettled time. They are just beginning a working life whose future is already uncertain.  ‘Home Hope Opel’ contrasts the apprentices’ everyday lives in the No.2 Works with General Motors’ and Opel’s fate on the world stage. Despite being separated by great distances, both geographically and in the media, these two different levels repeatedly meet and coincide, linking global changes of direction with local livelihoods – and vice versa. Filmmakers Michael Loeken and Ulrike Franke have focussed on the Ruhr region, its landscape and people for many years.  In ‘Losers and Winners’ they showed how 400 Chinese workers dismantled the Kaiserstuhl coke works into individual pieces and shipped these off to their homeland. This documentary won them the 2009 Grimme Prize. Their film ‘Göttliche Lage’ (“Divine Location”) about the new building development by Phoenix See in Dortmund can be seen at the Ruhrtriennale at 23rd  of September 2015.

A Works Disappears (Ein Werk verschwindet)

Schrifzug über dem einstigen Opel-Werk in Bochum © Hofmann&Lindholm

The title is self-explantory: just like the best illusionists, artists Hofmann&Lindholm present a show whose remarkable climax is the disappearance of Opel’s No. 1 Works in Bochum.  More than 5 million cubic metres of converted space, more than 15,000 tonnes of steel together with thousands of machines and pieces of equipment vanish instantly into thin air.

The film ‘A Works Disappears’  documents this remarkable event. The whole artistic project was created in 2014 as part of Schauspielhaus Bochum and Urbane Künste Ruhr’s ‘Detroit Project’.  The film not only addresses the issue of automobile manufacturing’s disappearance in Germany, it can also be understood as a metaphor of our present post-industrial situation. It tells of a loss which is not just experienced and accepted collectively but also permitted and recognized within a bizarre act of celebration.  A fact-based fiction is created whose real magic is that it can be permeated by reality.

Trailer „Ein Werk verschwindet“