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Wondrous World of Laundry, The (wundersame Welt der Waschkraft, Die)

Wondrous World of Laundry, The
© 23/5 Filmproduktion

Behind the fluffy towels and crisp white sheets of Berlin's finest hotels is a tale of seemingly brilliant entrepreneurship: A company takes the dirty laundry of German hotels to Poland - and brings it back clean the very next day. Outside of Germany, labor is cheaper and regulations are less constricting. But over and beyond this fascinating capital venture there remains the harsh reality of the everyday life of the hard-working Polish laundrywomen, through whose hands the white sheets pass. While Beata struggles to raise her three children on her meager salary, Monika reminisces about her unrealized childhood dreams of becoming a doctor, and is compelled to watch her teenage daughter Marta gradually follow in her footsteps.
In his first feature-length documentary since The Mechanism of the Miracle sixteen years ago, director Hans-Christian Schmid applies his delicate poetic sensibility to three women, their fears and dreams. The result is an intimate slice-of-life portrait of women from different generations forging a future amidst a spectral whiteness, among linens that cross borders more often in a week than these women will in a lifetime...

Hans-Christian Schmid was born in Altötting in 1965 and studied at the University of Television & Film in Munich. He made his directorial debut in 1989 with the documentary SEKT ODER SELTERS followed by the short DAS LACHENDE GEWITTER, the documentary THE MECHANISM OF THE MIRACLE (DIE MECHANIK DES WUNDERS) and the TV film HIMMEL UND HÖLLE. His breakthrough came in 1995 with IT'S A JUNGLE OUT THERE (NACH FÜNF IM URWALD). His other highly-acclaimed films include: 23 (1998), CRAZY (2000), DISTANT LIGHTS (LICHTER, 2003), REQUIEM (2006), THE WONDROUS WORLD OF LAUNDRY (DIE WUNDERSAME WELT DER WASCHKRAFT, 2009), STORM (STURM, 2009), and HOME FOR THE WEEKEND (WAS BLEIBT, 2012).
Genre Society
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2009
Director Hans-Christian Schmid
Screenplay Hans-Christian Schmid
Cinematography Bogumil Godfrejów
Stefan Stabenow
Producers Britta Knöller, Hans-Christian Schmid
Production Company 23/5 Filmproduktion/Berlin, in co-production with RBB, ARTE
Length 97 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 Polish, German
Subtitled Versions German, English, Polish
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
Festivals Berlin 2009, Rio 2009
With backing from German Federal Film Fund, BKM
German Distributor Piffl Medien/Berlin

World Sales
Bavaria Media International

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