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Red flags are easier to see (Rote Fahnen sieht man besser)

Red flags are easier to see (Rote Fahnen sieht man besser)



60 min

| 1971 |

"A TV documentary about the closure of a chemical plant in Krefeld causes a stir.
In "Rote Fahnen sieht man besser" (Red flags are easier to see), broadcast in September 1971, Rolf Schübel and Theo Gallehr have real-life workers speaking to the camera for the first time in the history of German public-service broadcasting.
The film causes another sensation in 1972 when it wins a Grimme Award - a choice that leads industrialists in the Marl area to withdraw their support for the Grimme Award. "
(Paul Hofmann & Ernst Schreckenberg on

"In August 1970 Phrix AG in Krefeld was shut down - it was the first closure of a major company since 1948. Film-makers Gallehr and Schübel made a documentary reporting the event from the point of view of the workers. They had hoisted a black flag, to protest against this closure and to mourn 'social partnership', which had been unilaterally betrayed. In the film, a wise official of the German federation of trade unions DGB said the workers had better chosen the red flag, as this would have been a comprehensible signal to the government in Bonn.
Instead, Gallehr/Schübel show the disillusioning slowness of learning processes, which in the years around 1970 might actually lead to something like class consciousness.
A precocious Agit-Prop-Song by Dieter Süverkrüp brought some revolutionary verve to the end of the film, but it was immediately censored: for reasons of one-sidedness, demagogy, staged documentary. The film that had initially won several awards was not to be seen for many years after. It resurfaced only once, in an August 1989 late night programme, immediately before the collapse of the GDR. (Cited from

team: Theo Gallehr, Rolf Schübel


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