In the Ruhr Valley, once the heart of Germany’s steel industry, the mills are being relocated. The authors recount the closure of the Kaiserstuhl steel mill and its dismantling by 400 Chinese workers as they “package” it for shipment to China where it will be reassembled and put back to work. Supervising the operation are 30 of the mill’s 800 former employees. The film documents the confrontation between two different work cultures: the self-assumed superiority of the Germans, left to an uncertain future, and the total abnegation and hopes of the Chinese workers.
Michael Loeken was born in Neviges (Germany) studied theatre, film and TV in Köln. His first film was „Ich hatte schon begonnen, die Freiheit zu vergessen“ (1981). Between 1982 and 1996 he worked as sound mixer on TV and film productions; since 1996 he has written, directed and produced his own films.
Ulrike Franke was born in Dortmund (Germany) studied theater, film and TV, literature, and art history. Since 1996 she has worked as film and TV writer, director, and producer. She teaches documentary filmmaking at the “International Film School”, Köln.