Education About Asia: Online Archives

Losers and Winners

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DIRECTED BY ULRIKE FRANKE AND MICHAEL LOEKEN
DISTRIBUTED BY FIRST RUN/ICARUS FILMS
DVD, 96 minutes, color, 2006

Reviewed by Jennifer Rudolph

What happens when the German efficiency and discipline that built the world’s most modern coking plant collides with the frontier industriousness of China and its hunger for modern industry? Losers and Winners vividly portrays such an encounter by documenting the issues, perceptions, and emotions surrounding the purchase of Germany’s Kaiserstuhl coking plant by a Chinese company, and the subsequent dismantling of the plant in preparation for its shipment and reassembly in China. By chronicling the eighteen-month dismantling process, the filmmakers expose the clash between the perspectives and cultures of the German breakdown crew and the Chinese managers and laborers who were sent to take the plant apart— piece by piece. it is a close-up view of the two sides of globalization.