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© Martin Menke/Ester.Reglin.Film.

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 02/2012

ABSEITSFALLE is the story of Karin and Mike, who work at Perla, a washing-machine manufacturer. She's a career woman, he is on the assembly line and plays for the factory football team. The company is owned by an American corporation. Until now it has been business as usual, but all of a sudden comes the news that 400 redundancies are needed if Perla is to survive; suddenly, there is everything to play for.

Writer Beatrice Meier was born in Bochum, the heart of the Ruhr region, where ABSEITSFALLE is set, and long had the dream of telling a story that shows the strength and fighting spirit of the people who live there. “I wanted to create something to counter the feeling of being in an apparently hopeless situation,” she says. “Even if this is the way the world is, or might be, today, there are people who just don’t simply give in, even if their defence maybe seems laughable.”

“I know you can’t change the world with football or films,” Meier continues. “ABSEITSFALLE is about something else: the dream of telling a story that shows the fighting spirit and humor of the people who live there. If the film conveys this feeling, there is always something possible, then the game is already half won.”

While ABSEITSFALLE is a work of fiction, the reality will not be lost on anybody, as producer Roswitha Ester relates: “We researched the film in the context of Bochum’s Opel factory in 2006. That crisis was averted but then came another with Nokia in 2008. Each time events overtook us.”

“But then came the financial crisis,” says producer Torsten Reglin, “and the next one, and then the euro crisis... One after the other. The story updated itself time after time, and in the middle of pre-production it was announced that the Bauknecht washing-machine factory, in which we were to film a genuine assembly line, was closing. This same year the company intends to close its Stuttgart factory as well.”

Genre Tragicomedy
Category Feature
Director Stefan Hering
Screenplay Beatrice Meier
Cinematography Christof Oefelein
Cast Bernadette Heerwagen, Sebastian Ströbel, Christoph Bach, Jürg Löw, Dagmar Sachse, Charlotte Bohning, Tim Seyfi, Heinrich Schafmeister, Stephan Szàsz, Andreas Windhuis, Isabel Hindersin, Anja Antonowicz, Herbert Schäfer, Jochen Kolenda
Producers Roswitha Ester, Torsten Reglin
Production Company Ester.Reglin.Film, in co-production with SWR, ARTE
Shooting Dates February-April 2012
With backing from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, German Federal Film Fund / DFFF Deutscher Filmförderfonds

Ester.Reglin.Film Produktionsgesellschaft mbH