June 2012, arsenal cinema

Working environments in film

À NOUS LA LIBERTÉ, 1931

This month, we are accompanying a seminar held by Ulrike Vedder and Alexandra Tacke at Humboldt University about working environments in literature and film.

À NOUS LA LIBERTÉ(René Clair, F 1931, 5.6., introduced by Manuel Köppen) Two prisoners plan their jail escape together but only one is successful. On the outside, he makes his way up the career ladder and becomes the owner of a gramophone factory. He benefits from his past experience – the discipline and conveyor belt working methods recall his time in jail, fatally. This is a satire about modern working environments.

KAUAS PILVET KARAKAAVAT(Drifting Clouds, Aki Kaurismäki, Finland/Germany/France 1996, 12.6., introduced by Hauke Lehmann) In his usual laconic style, Kaurismäki evokes the sadness of Helsinki at the beginning of winter. The film tells the story of the very normal social descent of two "normal citizens". Ilona, a head waitress, and her husband, a tram driver, both lose their jobs. Their search for new positions turns out to be a never-ending catalogue of rejection and humiliation.

DIE WUNDERSAME WELT DER WASCHKRAFT(The Wondrous World of Laundry, Hans-Christian Schmid, Germany 2009, 19.6., followed by a discussion between Hans-Christian Schmid and Erik Porath) Every day, a dozen trucks belonging to the German laundry company Fliegel travel between Berlin and a Polish border town where 400 Polish workers wash and iron around the clock for a pittance. Schmid accompanies the women home where they – without an ounce of self-pity – tell him about their lives, their families, their hopes and dreams.

LA NANA (The Maid, Sebastián Silva, Chile/Mexico 2009, 26.6., introduced by Ulrike Baureithel) Raquel has lived and worked for over 20 years in the home of the Valdez family. Over the decades of constant cleaning, cooking and caring, she has gradually forgotten that she once had her own dreams and desires. When she falls ill and there is talk of a second maid being employed to help out, she panics.

arsenal cinema: Magical History Tour - City Symphonies

07:30 pm Cinema 1


The Little Fugitive

The Little Fugitive Ray Ashley, Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin USA 1953 35 mm OV 80 min

arsenal cinema: Working environments in film

08:00 pm Cinema 2


Die wundersame Welt der Waschkraft

Die wundersame Welt der Waschkraft The Wondrous World of Laundry

Hans-Christian Schmid Germany 2009 35 mm OV/GeS 97 min

Hans-Christian Schmid in conversation with Erik Porath