Fernsehpreis Int. Dokumentarfilmfestival Nyon
(A New Page)
CH 1987 93'
Director: Hans-Ulrich Schlumpf
Script: Hans-Ulrich Schlumpf
Camera: Pio Corradi
Sound: Hans Künzi, Beat Hirschi, Felix Singer, Dieter Lengacher
Editing: Rainer M. Trinkler
Music: Bruno Spoerri
Production: Hans-Ulrich Schlumpf
The film A NEW PAGE traces the change-over of a local newspaper from the use of traditional linotype composition to "cold type" computer typesetting. The film revolves around two of the typesetters. Through them the viewer sees what it means when a respected profession suddenly becomes useless and a whole new trade must be learnt.
Akeret AG, in Bassersdorf, the firm employing these typesetters, was completely computerized at the end of 1985. Shortly afterwards, the then Australian newspaper czar Rupert Murdoch fired 5600 printers and typesetters in London because they were striking against the introduction of the new printing technology. In 1832, weavers in the mountains near Zürich set fire to a mechanized textile factory. This is remembered in Swiss history as the "Machine-Breaking of Uster".
The deployment of computers and what this means for mankind is nowhere more visible and evident than in the printing trade. The changes in the daily life of those affected is radical. The effects of this depersonalisation of work cannot yet be foreseen.
Machines don't get pregnant and they don't strike.