Roland Dürre
Sunday February 22nd, 2015

At Eye-Level – A Film about Work-Life in the 21st Century.

workhard117A team of five started an exciting project – and eventually it turned into a film: “At Eye-Level “ (Augenhöhe).

Here is the story: During a session of the 12th  intrinsify!me “wevent” in Berlin about the work-life value of the 21st century, the idea grew that you should not only describe everything in words at all times. Instead, you should show it to people – in a film.

Five session attendants remained together and got active. They made the film “At Eye-Level”. I first heard of this project on the Berlin 2015 PM Camp during a great impulse presentation by Ulf Brandes. Later, I saw parts of the film during the Munich 2014 PM Camp. Two of the protagonists playing in “At Eye-Level” are personal acquaintances of mine through PM-Camps.

Thanks to enormously well-used “social media”, the project quickly earned great acclaim, even beyond the internet. The successful crowdfunding for its financing, too, had enjoyed a huge amount of public awareness and was accordingly very successful. The opening night on January, 30th, in Hamburg, too, had a huge audience. More than 400 (!) persons came to watch the film at the Hamburg Museum der Arbeit.

The film is about good topics. Perhaps its professional quality cannot hold a torch to documentaries with similar topics, such as by Geyrhalter, Wagenhofer (among other things the trilogy We Feed the World, Let’s Make Money and Alphabet) or Carmen Losmann (Work Hard – Play Hard). But neither does it need to – it is more a refreshing production on the level of TV reports by the ARD or ZDF, for instance about shipping electric waste to Africa.

The film is about persons acting different roles in their work-lives: entrepreneurs, managers, founders. But above all, it shows employees happy to be working for “good” employers. Because they can, for example, due to innovative working hours models, dispose of their own free time more freely than is common and therefore organize their own lives as they wish.

Unfortunately, though, the highly praised project “At Eye-Level” is also one where not all is gold that glitters. Shortly before the film was finished, two articles about Adidas and Unilever were added to it.

Adidas

Suddenly, you see Christian Kuhna in the film. I first met him at the open-up Camp in Nuremburg. His job with the sports giant is about social media, Moocs and the like and he has a small but very efficient team at his disposal

I am sure that the work-life attitude in Christian’s team is good and modern. Also, I am always impressed by the competence and positive attitude of all the salespersons in Adidas shops. But I am sure this is not true for the huge majority of persons producing for the concern.

Consequently, including Adidas in the film was a source of controversy among “crowd funders”.

Unilever

At the very end of the shooting, Unilever, too, was added. Even as early as the meeting in Munich, I was surprised to find the food giant presented as a positive example. There, Sven Franke – one of the protagonists – told us that Unilever had contacted “At Eye-Level” because they had established contact during the film “WORK HARD PLAY HARD” by Carmen Losmann. In that film, they had not made a particularly good impression and consequently, they wanted to make up for it. Well, no matter what, Unilever definitely is not the best material for this kind of film.

Sven’s reasoning was as follows: they wanted to show that even a huge enterprise can have a few niches where work-life might happen at eye-level.

Well, this might be a matter of taste. To be sure, every huge enterprise also has a few “islands of blessedness”. Even if it is only the team of directors.

However, it is also possible that Adidas and Unilever were included because they are “big names”. Which might have made the producers think makes the film more attractive. This is certainly also an acceptable decision. But if so, you should also communicate it as such.

When talking “big names” and these kinds of ideas, Tomas Sattelberger, too, comes to mind. He, too – just like he also currently seems to be publicly visible all the time – appears in the film. After all, everybody wants to hear and see a repetition of the Saul-Paul story. I do not know Tomas Sattelberger personally, but only from what I read about him in the press. Consequently, I cannot give a valid estimation. But in his roles as director of famous DAX concerns, he did not look like the typical representative for “eye-level” to me.

Well, so much about the small stains on the otherwise clean slate.

Mind you, please not to misunderstand me: I find the topic “eye-level” as formulated by Sven Franke or Ulf Brandes an excellent idea. The same is true for the activity and the result. Also, the enterprises concerned are welcome to the gain in reputation they got from it and I would be happy if those who initiated the project were also reimbursed in a material sense for the huge amount of energy they put behind it.

It is a true delight to discuss the individual film scenes under the “entrepreneurial” light. Especially the founder’s enterprises shown in the film might suggest that a proper firm is only possible where you have the “good tyrant”. The question I ask is: how can the entrepreneurial culture shown in the film also be structurally included in our social system – for instance in the sense of a “democratic enterprise”.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
The picture is not from the film “Augenhöhe – At Eye-Level”. I took it from “WORK HARD PLAY HARD” by Carmen Losmann.

Roland Dürre
Thursday November 6th, 2014

Political Education – FES and HSS

Political Education – FES and HSS

Political Education (Politische Bildung ) is still something sponsored by the current Federal Government yet forgotten often and by many. And perhaps it is also anachronistic. After all, the real process of forming your opinion no longer happens in the parties and their “foundations”, but in barcamps “on the streets”.

I know two foundations with close connections to a party: the parteinahe Stiftungen, das ist die Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung (HSS – CSU) and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung(FES – SPD). Both of them invite me at regular intervals and once in a while, if the topic looks interesting to me, I actually attend.

Incidentally, the difference between the meetings organized by the two groups is that the HSS is better organized and the meals, too, are very delicious. At the FES, you mostly get no meals and the organization is not quite as perfect. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why the CSU has such a huge majority in Bavaria while hardly anybody votes in favour of the SPD.

On Tuesday, November, 4th, I accepted an invitation by the FES (SPD). They showed the film “WORK HARD, PLAY HARD.”. It is a documentary by Carmen Losmann about our modern work life I have wished to see for a long time. Moreover, they had promised that the producer Carmen was to be present herself.

I wanted to meet her in person in order to tell her about the project “Augenhöhe”.

In a nutshell: WORK HARD, PLAY HARD is a great film. Considering that it is a documentary, it is extremely exciting. And the Arena (Hans-Sachs-Straße 7, 80469 München) Cinema in the wonderful Glockenbach-District was absolutely the best setting. And Carmen Losmann, the producer, was also there, as promised.

Afterwards, there was a discussion that had both strengths and weaknesses. For me, it is always hard to have a confident discussion after an exciting event. Regardless, it was a nice evening. Especially because Carmen was able to give us her evaluation of the status of our economy in a very charming and striking manner.

However, we had to leave rather quickly, because, after all, the cinema had to switch to its normal business. Due to the flow of incoming cinema-goers, it was not possible to have a discussion with persons who had struck me as those with the reasonable arguments during the discussion. In fact, that is something I would have found truly useful.

Well, but this is only meant as a feedback for the organizers. Perhaps, next time, they want to make a reservation for a few tables somewhere in the neighbouring pubs and thus motivate the audience to continue with their discussions?

However, the event was also remarkable in that the “old world” truly was lit up again. On arrival, you had to sign your name on a list. As opposed to some data-security protagonists, I have no problem with this. As I see it, I should actually be prepared to stand by it and accept that all the world might know about me attending an event of the FES – which is close to the SPD and unions. The same is true when I accept an invitation by the competition (HSS).

When he welcomed us before the film started, the presenter said the signature was necessary because the FES, as we all know, is an “opinion-forming” organization and as such federally subsidized. Consequently, in order to continue being eligible for subsidies, they have to document that “now politically educated persons” (my wording) attended. Incidentally, said presenter was a freelance “dialectics trainer” who often works for the FES and some unions. Well, we all have to make a living, don’t we?

In my opinion, these subsidies of “political education” should either be terminated, or else they should give the money to those who work towards developing social context. And I know quite a few well-attended barcamps and similar events for citizens where many people meet, regardless of the fact that they do not show such great films and serve such delicious meals as the HSS.
These days, much is done to remember the times of “we are the people”. It is quite possible that the reigning parties and their appendages in the Federal Republic of Germany will soon also hear the call: “we are the people”.

First and foremost, however, I am happy to have made new acquaintances and found new insights during this evening. In my next posts, I will include the occasional idea from this beautiful evening.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday October 14th, 2010

A Night in the Munich Metropolitan Theatre

The day before yesterday, I once again treated myself to a visit to the theatre. This time, it was not in one of the “great” Munich theatre houses. No. I followed Edwin’s recommendation and went to the Metropoltheater.

Although it is called Munich Metropolitan Theatre, the theatre is situated in Freimann. Basically, only railroad people really know Freimann in the north of Munich. Some uppity people consider it a “no-place”. Of course, it has not deserved the title at all, because there are quite a few more nice things in Freimann, apart from this beautiful theatre.

The play was THE BLACK RIDER – and I found it fascinating. A small theatre managed to do something the great, established houses no longer seem capable of (see my article on Ein Mond für die Beladenen in the “Resi”.

They make people laugh and cry with a passionate theatre performance!

mehr »

Roland Dürre
Tuesday October 5th, 2010

A Moon for the Loaded …

It is theatre time again! Consequently, I opened my private theatre season yesterday and went to see a play in the Munich “Residenztheater”.

The title of the play was:
A Moon for the Loaded

by
Eugene O’Neill
.
I had been really looking forward to it. Accordingly, my disappointment was huge.
mehr »

Roland Dürre
Sunday September 19th, 2010

(Deutsch) Elsewhere

mehr »

Roland Dürre
Friday July 9th, 2010

Ritter, Dene, Voss

That is the title of a play written by Thomas Bernhard in 1984 (which is when InterFace AG was founded).

There is a simple explanation for the mysterious title: It has nothing to do with the play. In his inimitable way, Thomas Bernhard chose the title in order to honour three actors who were playing under the direction of Claus Peymann in Bochum: Ilse Ritter, Kirsten Dene and Gert Voss. Well, it was a great riddle for me, too.

It is a great 3-persons-play, excellently produced by Antoine Uitdehaag at the charming Cuvilliés Theatre in the “Residenz”. Ludwig (Stefan Hunstein) has an older sister (Ulrike Willenbacher) and a younger sister (Barbara Melzl). And it is a family saga: there are arguments, there are love, caring, discussions, fights, respect and hatred.

The play intrudes deeply into the sub-conscious. Basically, there should be a warning printed on the tickets:

Careful! Experiencing this play, especially sitting in the front rows, increases your tendency to have nightmares.

mehr »

Roland Dürre
Wednesday July 7th, 2010

Liliom

Who among us does not feel sympathetic towards a likeable loser? For the permanent “underdog” who is super nice and basically always wants to do the right thing? For someone who might easily reap all the happiness in the world, but fails to do so because he is always getting in his own way.

I met that kind of person a short time ago. His name is Liliom and he is the leading character in the drama with the same title by Franz Molnár. The German adaption by Alfred Polgar of the piece is currently played in the Munich “Residenztheater”.

mehr »

Roland Dürre
Sunday February 21st, 2010

Alkestis

Alkestis-MoirenOn Saturday evening, I spent another night in the theatre. This time we went to the “Residenz des Bayerischen Staatsschauspiel.”

We combined the trip into the city with shopping. It is just practical and fun to stroll through the special shops and shopping centres of the great city shortly before arriving at the theatre.

Problem getting to the theatre afterwards, either. After all, there was no security summit in Munich this weekend.

We sat on quite respectable seats (balcony, first row) and the piece was “Alkestis“ by the great Euripides. It was all about hospitality, love and death.

mehr »

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.