Wednesday, 19 October, 10:00
Workers and work are one of the great subjects of film history; the documentary genre in particular has been marked by “workers’ films”. Having almost vanished from view for the past few years, films about work are now making a comeback; but like the subject, its adaptation on film is undergoing a transformation: the traditional concept of work and its problems is now mostly associated with the Third World as it produces goods for the First World. Global economic contexts are no longer separable from simple production processes. In the former industrialised nations, too, work processes are becoming increasingly abstract and harder to visualise: precarious working conditions, subtle exploitation mechanisms, a creeping de-humanisation of the working world.
Who are the new “working class heroes”? How does a film approach abstract, global contexts? How much can, how much must be explained? Does access to closed working worlds automatically equal compromise? What distinguishes filming at a bank from filming at a meat factory?
Grit Lemke (Head of Documentary Programme)