IN ARBEIT relies on the basic social gesture of people introducing themselves to one another. To explore the possibilities of collective action, Minze Tummescheit and Arne Hector set off a chain of interviews, with the first interviewee leading the film team to the second, and so on. What they all have in common are the cooperative structures in which they work. To open the series, we meet film laboratory L’Abominable, the Coordination des Intermittents et Précaires, Île de France (CIP) and two Sicilian agricultural cooperatives. The most important question they debate is that of their own legitimacy: does it make sense or is it even possible to position oneself outside of industrial progress, the public arena of politics or the global market?
We learn much about film laboratories and the materiality of film, about the relationship between trade and industry, about French employment policy for film and theatre professionals and the resistance it breeds, and about Mafia-dominated Sicilian structures. Each cooperative creates its own images, sounds and rhythms, with these images forming a series that ultimately becomes a collective political discourse, not least about cinema itself.