As in many of his previous films, Nestler once more provides a critical view of the rise of the machine age. He uses the small village of Ödenwaldstetten as an example of the changes from manpower to mechanical power.
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opposite in its nature and intention but stylistically and with the use of narration very close to soc. "what we have in our country and how great it is" documentaries. talking about a lot of work and immigrants seems much like germany nowdays. maybe it´s not all in the past, as the end suggests.
pulling back the bandages on a German village's economic facelift, while there's still time to observe the scalpel's handiwork — the machinations of capitalist economics have the whole world addicted to this plastic surgery. Even the Holocaust is an endnote. "What belongs to the past has been mowed.”
"Was hinter einem ist, ist gemäht" (what's behind one, is mowed down), and so we go on in our rapturous rush to our electronic futures. Although this film doesn't really come to grips with WWII like von Griechenland does, films like it - an essential function of cinema - are precious stays against the erosion of memory, of life-ways, storehouses of alternatives to what we imagine as all but foreclosed: our futures.
The haunting dualism Gemeinschaft-Gesellschaft of the German weltanschauung up until the 1970s -even the mid-1980s with regards to film- finds here a seemingy value-neutral depiction, with the images though and the remuneration rates of the ex-farmers turned industrial workers speaking for themselves. Nestler focuses on the fragments of industrial production and juxtaposes these to temps perdu notions of rootedness.