Wadan's World

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A film about the value of work.




52, 100 min


Dieter Schumann


Wismar, 120 km east of Hamburg, 45.000 citizens, the income of every third family depends on Wadan Yards, the only large company in the region. In August 2008 a Russian investor takes over the old German company, the future seems save. Short afterwards the world financial and economical crisis starts somewhere in the US and hits the old Hanseatic city hard, 5.000 jobs are endangered.

A race against time starts. We accompany a group of welders throughout the turbulent months and learn that the loss of work means a lot more then just the loss of income. “If you want to be a shipbuilder you have to be born for it”, says one of the protagonists and points out what counted in this region for ages: being a shipbuilder is a reputable job that is often passed on from generation to generation. Shipbuilding stands for dignity and quality and characterizes the whole coast region.

We accompany the workers, owners and insolvency administrators. We see them fighting for the rescue of the shipyard, against ups and downs, between powerlessness, anger, sadness and hope.

18 months of shooting, 120 hours of material. The crisis stayed an abstract phenomenon to many, but we see what it means for the destiny of these workers. The Wadan Yards sink and reopen with a new owner. Some protagonists go back to the company, but the conditions are a lot worse. We attend the last shift before the insolvency closedown and the first one after reopening.

The film captures, what the crisis leaves behind, the loss affects social values. People are divided in superiors and losers, people with work and without work. “Everything is different now”, says one and he means the lifeless feeling in his chest.

Directed by
Dieter Schumann

Written by
Dieter Schumann
Jochen Wisotzki

Conceptual advisory
Niels Reise

Rainer Maria Schulz  
Bernhard Kübel
Peter Priszybil
Michael Lösche
Anne Tomschke
Adrian Stähli

Rainer Maria Viltz
Arne Papenhagen
Andrea Köster

Gudrun Steinbrück

Nils Kacirek

Sound Design
Roman Vehlken

Technical Supervisory
Philipp Weigold

Production Manager
Ruth Stegemann

Line Producer
Kathrin Isberner

Georg Tschurtschenthaler

Executive Producer
Christian Beetz

Dieter Schumann

Wadan’s World
  • „Just in diesem Moment überraschen uns die aus dem Theaterbereich stammenden jungen Regisseure Hans Block und Moritz Riesewieck mit einem erstaunlichen Dokumentarfilm, der seit Monaten Publikum und Kritik auf den wichtigsten Festivals der Welt elektrisiert. Völlig zu Recht: Es ist, als würden einem die Scheuklappen weggerissen, als sähe man das, was sich seit Jahren direkt vor unseren Augen abspielt, zum ersten Mal unverschleiert... eine fesselnde ,Doku noir' mit höchstem Anspruch...Dieser Film müsste an allen Schulen gezeigt werden.“
    Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

In co-production with

  • wdr

In co-production with

Basthorster Filmmanufaktur

Funded by

  • Bundesregierung M und K
  • Meckpom
  • Filmförderfonds
  • Hamburg