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photo © Harun Farocki

“I would like to propose a film that contributes to the concept of work. One that compares the work of a traditional society, like in Africa, in an early industrial society such as India, and in a highly developed industrial society, in Europe or Japan. The object of comparison is to be the work in building houses. Houses to live in.”

This was written in Harun Farocki’s exposé from 2003 for a documentary project. “After intitial research (…) I had the idea of using the brick, its manufacture and its processing as the object of comparison,” explains Farocki. In India he filmed a brickworks whose threading machine was from the 1930s when Gandhi was organizing the anti-colonialist protest. The installation in northern France was operated by Moroccans who housed in barracks like POWs or forced laborers. In Mumbai apartment houses were built much like they are in Europe. No hand touched the products that came out of the highly-mechanized factories in Germany. In Burkina Faso, Farocki followed the communal work on a hospital ward and a school building with his camera: “I’ve never in my life been able to observe such a strange process so closely.”
Genre Society
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2009
Director Harun Farocki
Screenplay Harun Farocki, Matthias Rajmann
Cinematography Ingo Kratisch
Producer Harun Farocki
Co-Producers Johannes Rosenberger, Inge Classen
Production Company Harun Farocki Filmproduktion/Berlin, in co-production with Navigator Film, ZDF, 3sat/Mainz
Runtime 61 min
Format 16 mm, color
 no dialogue
Intertitled Versions German
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Mono
Festivals Berlin 2009, Diagonale Graz 2009, Fetival Cinéma du Réel Paris 2009, Jeonju 2009, Toronto 2009, New York 2009, Vancouver 2009, Thessaloniki 2009, Toronto 2014, Festival du Nouveau Cinéma Montreal 2014

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