18 Knoten bis Hongkong [Eighteen Knots to Hong Kong]
This film from the DEFA studio for documentary films tells of life on the MS Potsdam freight ship operated by Deutfracht Seereederei Rostock (DSR), which offers liner shipping services between European and East Asian ports. The film follows the engineer assistant Ulrich Zappen, who has been at sea for 12 years and is responsible for the proper functioning of the ship’s engines. In exactly 42 days the ship must complete the route from Rostock to Hong Kong; to keep up with the competition the ship must adhere strictly to its schedule. 18 Knoten bis Hongkong depicts not only the ship workers’ bone-breaking work far from home and family but also encounters with distant countries, including the journey through the Suez Canal, a stay in Singapore and shore leave in Bangkok.
Heinz Hafke, DDR 1981, 22 min