The DEFA produced documentary film shows the everyday work life of shunters at the Dresden-Friedrichstadt freight yard in extraordinary black-and-white images. The railway men of the Ablaufberg Collective arrange, brake, uncouple, couple – 1600 wagons in a single shift. Hard work – in snow storms, near darkness and thick fog. Sounds fill the air: hammering, workers treading over the gravel, whistles, shuffling rail cars. No commentary, no conversation. There’s nothing to say. The men would not have been able to speak freely in front of a camera anyway. Rangierer: a mute, eloquent historical document.
Jürgen Böttcher, East Germany 1984, 22 min