Umbruch (1987)

Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - Switzerland   |  
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Since the early days of the Industrial Revolution, moderate and sober voices have urged factory owners to take the human and social costs of modernization into account. This documentary explores the effects of new automated printing techniques and processes on the lives of highly skilled blue-collar craftsmen working in the Swiss printing industry, especially around Zurich. Many of the questions posed by the thoughtful participants in General Llud's "army" in the 17th century are shown to be relevant today: shall we just throw people away as obsolete when a machine is developed which can do their jobs? Isn't there some more humane way to carry out these changes? Alas, then as now, it seems that increasing profits is an infinitely more urgent concern for industrialists than minimizing the damage done to workers by "modernization."