The wondrous world of laundry
Hardly any guests of the high-class Berlin hotels have an idea of the journey the fresh sheets and towels in their rooms have completed before being exchanged with the used laundry each and every morning. A dozen trucks travel 140 kilometres back and forth between Berlin and the small Polish town of Gryfino. There, located right beside the power plant that supplies the hot steam, lies the German laundry factory "Fliegel". Four hundred Polish workers operate day and night for low wages, making sure that the containers from Berlin are filled with clean laundry and delivered back to the German capital city within 24 hours.
It′s a story about labour that has migrated and about the people who carry it out day after day. Three generations of women have one collective, modest dream: to find personal happiness, a home to call their own, a family. And the desire that their children will have it better one day. Five years after Poland′s entry into the European Union the borders to Germany are open, but the lustrous world of Berlin′s five-star-hotels is still a far cry away.
Director Hans-Christian Schmid: "[Here] the main focus lies on two Polish families who try to find their way around the complex world of work in a united Europe where borders are open, but in which the loss of every job in Germany to a country abroad is at the same time bitterly bemoaned. When blamed of destroying German jobs by employing cheap Polish workers, Mr. Wiesemann, the managing director of ′Fliegel-Textilservice′, answers, ′I don’t do business in Poland, but in Europe′."
Source: 59. Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin (Catalogue)