Bricks are manufacured in Africa, India and Europe and used to erect clinics, children's homes, schools and residential buildings. Harun Farocki observed the different steps of the manufacturing process. Bricks are cast, fired or pressed by hands, machines or robots.
Depending on the country of production, this involves a single worker or a large group. The film's title communicates a decisive aspect: Farocki merely offers material to the viewer, who has to draw the actual comparisons between traditional, early industrial, and fully industrialized societies himself. The brick is the smallest unit and the sole focus of the film. The interconnecting elements are title cards displaying some brief information about the place and the construction method. Another comparison is evoked: The smallest unit of the 16mm image is the grain. It has a connection with the pixel generated on a computer in Switzerland to represent a brick and also with the pencil drawing of a European architecture student in India. Analog and digital imagery are more than mere information carriers, they are part of the production.
Stefanie Schulte Strathaus
Production: Harun Farocki Filmproduktion, Berlin; Navigator Film, Vienna
Screenplay: Harun Farocki, Matthias Rajmann
Camera: Ingo Kratisch
Format: 16mm, Color
Running Time: 61 min.
Languages: Hindi, Mooré (without dialogues)
Photo: © Harun Farocki