Wittstock, Wittstock (1997)

Genres - Culture & Society, History  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Gender Issues, Politics & Government, Social History  |   Run Time - 117 min.  |   Countries - Germany  |  
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Three East German women spend over twenty years at a textile mill in Wittstock only to find themselves jobless shortly after the destruction of the Berlin Wall in 1990. In telling their tragic story, this provocative documentary--begun by filmmaker Volker Koepp and his cameraman Christian Lehmann in 1974 and finished in 1996--offers a critical look at the downside of Germany's reunification. In 1974, the three women, Renata, Elizabeth and Edith were all young woman working in the Wittstock textile mill. The filmmakers return to the women in 1983. By this time, the women have matured and experienced marriages, divorces and had children. Their hard work at the mill has paid off and each has been promoted. In 1990, following the demise of the Wall, their heretofore contented lives are destroyed when their company is purchased by Fashion Ltd and massive downsizing efforts begin. Women are the primary targets, especially those who make a fuss. Within a year, all three women are unemployed and struggling to find new jobs. The film rejoins them in 1993 and finds that things have not improved. By 1996, the unemployment level has reached 90% and things look bleak for the women, who despite the poor economic prognosis continue struggling to find new jobs.

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Keywords

factory, poverty