Wadan’s World

Caused by the Great depression the modern Wadan wharf slithers into insolvency. Thousands of employees become jobless and shatters the whole coastal area. The film accompanies shipbuilders during a year and create a portrait, that illustrates the personal shocks of the abstract crisis sensible. The welders notice hurtfully: Harder like the work itself, is to loose it.


  • - TV premiere "Wadan's World" at arte

    Our cinema documentary “Wadan’s World, which received the most important german camera award 2011, will be screened as a 52 [...]

    Our cinema documentary "Wadan's World, which received the most important german camera award 2011, will be screened as a 52 minutes TV version on February the 28th 2013 at 11 pm on arte. The vivid portrait of three shipbuilders illustrates how an abstract global economy crisis becomes tangible harsh reality.  


  • Wadan’s World – About the Dignity of Work

Wadan’s World

Hansa town Wismar at the german Baltic coast. Since centuries ships are made here. Today almost every third family lives direct or implicit on shipbuilding. The Wadan wharf is one of the modernest wharfst in the world and the toast of the town. In 12 months 3100 of the 4000 employees will be jobless. Chronicles of a crisis.

With these emphatic phrases the narrative arc is set at the beginning of the film. Director Dieter Schumann accompanies Roland „Knolle“ Lindner, Chrisitan Ratsack and Roland Dreier, three shipbuilder, during a year, in which the modern wadan wharf drifts into insolvency caused by the Great depression and thousend of employees become jobless. The loss of the employment has a bigger importance for the concerned workers than just the loss of their income.

For the job of a shipbuilder, you have to be born to.“, says Roland Lindner, better known as „Knolle“: Shipbuilder is a profession you can be proud of, is committed over generations and deals with dignity and quality and influences the identity of the coastal area. „It´s like a family business“, notes apprentice Christian Ratsack. His father already worked as a shipbuilder, just like his grandfather.

Finally, 3100 shipbuilders will loose their job. The residual 900 are offered limited labor contracts for a pittance. Roland Dreier, one of our three protagonists is the first one who is rehired. Weeks later Roland „Knolle“ Lindner gets a joboffer, too – for strongly degraded conditions.

They recommence their jobs with mixed feelings, while Christian Ratsack stays unemployed and told by job center, that „there is no future as a ship builder“. „It´s like in the jungle. Who stands still, lost.“ says the liquidator cynically.The loss of employment hits the society, divides humans into winners and loosers, into employess and unemployees. And into people, who can´t live on work despite having it, just like one of the contract workers of the wharf, who is rehired for 700-800 euros per month. „Knolle“ puts the frustration of the welders in a nutshell: „Are we scum?“ The men notice hurtfully: Harder like the work itself, is to loose it.

Director Dieter Schumann, who was himself afloat in early times, succeeds an unusual closeness and intimacy with the workers by creating a personal connection. He is on a par with the welders and illustrates the personal shocks of abstract crisis sensible.

Cameraman Rainer M.Schulz was honored with the german cameraprice 2011. The jury praised his „authentic camerawork, which creats closeness without being intrusive.“ Günther Wallraff noticed in his laudatory speech: „This fim is really close, it is a realistic portait but still full of poetry.“

A very emphathic, personal image of a worldwide crisis. 

Director: Dieter Schumann
Script: Dieter Schumann, Jochen Wisotzki
Director of photography: Rainer M. Schulz
Sound: Rainer Maria Viltz, Arne Papenhagen
Editing: Gudrun Steinbrück, Christian R. Timmann
Music: Nils Kacirek
Sound design und Mischung: Roman Vehlken
Color correction: Urban Vucer
Production manager: Ruth Stegemann
Production accountant: Daniela Schöne
Technical supervisory: Philipp Weigold
Line producer: Kathrin Isberner
Producer: Georg Tschurtschenthaler
Executive producer: Christian Beetz
Co-producer: Dieter Schumann
Commissioning Editor: Martin Pieper (ZDF/arte)



  • Wadan's World

    Metropolis - Hamburg, Germany
    17 June 2011 at 12:00 pm

  • Wadan's World

    28 February 2013 at 11:00 pm

  • Wadan's World

    ABATON-Kino, Allende-Platz 3 - Hamburg
    23 February 2014 at 11:00 am