Fight for Opel – Live or Let Die

Documentary, 45 Minuten
Written and directed by Michael Wech, Stephan Lamby, Klaus Balzer

In the year 2009, Opel was fighting for survive. In important Opel factories production was curbed. And the workers from Opel who call therselves “Opelaner”, had to stay at home. Reduced working hours, extended company holidays, cancelled night shifts.
Opel’s parent company GM was fighting for survive. 2009 was a good year for many battles: workers against workers, shop committees against the management, politicians against politicians, shop committees against shop committees, Germans against Americans. The front-lines of these fights became blurred. At the end, there were more losers than winners.

CEOs of other German car factories watch the new policy of subvention with distrust. Is the government allowed to influence free markets? Advocates of small businesses demanded not to subsidise Opel. A general dispute with consequences for thousands of jobs. And: how would the parent company in Detroit act? Would GM set Opel free or in the worst case draw it down the drain?
In the year 2009, GM and Opel became symbols of the crisis – an economic crisis but also system crisis.

The film was nominated for the Georg von Holtzbrinck Prize for economy journalism in the year 2009.

First Run: