Soap and water

Soap and water
               Genre: Documentary
  What sounds like an advertising slogan for a cosmetic product that is nothing less than a documentary ode to hard-toiling and heroines of the low-paid work. The focus of Tatiana, Gerti and Monica are three women, all different ages, and the somewhat dated Yorkshire Terrier Bonnie.

Hamburg, five clock in the morning. While others come from the last night cap home, Monica is preparing for its own long road to her job. Twenty years has made it even in the laundry, where they sorted the dirty laundry of high-earning men, panties and shirts as numbered as sheets and tablecloths. Must be order, and it makes it so conscientiously when it would exercise a leadership position in a business enterprise. For they do not, the question arises whether it makes the work fun, but it’s about pride and dignity, to live independently. The state does not want to be on the bag, just like the other two workers, Gerti and Tatyana. The viewer follows the documentation amazed and impressed, because the women are so different, they represent the hard working lower class who at the end of the month is left with a little luck from 150 euros net salary. Would they opt for Hartz IV, they were probably more available, but forbids them from their self-life and their attitude to work.

Every morning she takes her way to the laundry, and they go after monotonous work tirelessly and energetically. The noise is unbearable, the heat and humidity high, more so in summer, and the sweat on their forehead. The short morning break will be tacitly taken to be thoughtfully brought sandwiches and ate only Tatiana’s mouth never seems to stand still. She is the youngest of the three protagonists, perhaps early thirties, but they have worked for many years in this traditional company, which has desperately needed a renovation. Tatiana has taken the baton from her mother, her sister also works there, and in the little free time will also be talking about work. Tatiana’s husband is a pastry, so that the two have very little time for each other, since the hours are too different. Nevertheless, one has the feeling that they’re doing well. The family is their one and only, and confident both say that they would work for less money – if it were necessary. People are happy with what you have: A two bedroom apartment with balcony, mom lives nearby, there is a park where you can with the dog and the family walk. At the weekend, and will be grilled over a glass of Prosecco and a bottle of beer is enjoying life. Envy at the middle or even upper class does not exist, instead they show lack of understanding towards people who do not want to work, the rest on Hartz IV or visions of the future without wasting their lives.

Only Gerti seems to quarrel with her fate a little. She left her husband at some point, as he has ever cheated with other women, but it depends on his picture on the living room couch. While it emits no bitterness, but her resignation is already written on their faces – even if they tried, they are not in front of the camera to sweep very outward. When asked what there had been beautiful in her life, her eyes light up at short notice: The best day in her life when her daughter had been born was. But otherwise, there would be no beauty. A discouraging record of a roughly fifty-year life.

Even when soap and water in some places has a bit depressing in itself – the three women work for a pittance, luxury means to them, the Yorkshire terrier on his 12th Buy a birthday, a new leash or take a day trip to the Baltic Sea – so the film still gives us courage. Because actually all are quite satisfied with their lives. They draw from their work self-affirmation, dignity and pride and have the little things in life, their joy. Whether it was even pulled out of a sunflower seed of the bird, who walks with the family or the hope of winning at bingo. They all have dreams, and who knows, perhaps Tatiana, Gerti and Monika are ultimately happy with their lives as well-paid employees of the middle class.

The documentary filmmaker Susan Gluth has accomplished with soap and water, the seemingly impossible: she has painted a sensitive portrait of three women of the working class, which exposes them never receive their dignity and maintain the tenacious energy of the three protagonists with each picture, with every tone captures and captivates the audience effectively. This is in addition to the insight into the daily life of a laundry and the life story of three women and told them accompanied, if they win their “little slice of happiness.” A sensitive film about the neglected heroes of labor, without which our society would be a whole lot poorer.

(Silvy Pommerenke)

Title: soap and water Country of production: Germany Year of production: 2008 Length: Min 85 () of material: Susan Gluth film

Related posts