A poet and writer gets fired from his job at a local newspaper after writing a review of his own work. To make ends meet he gets a job at the shipyard, a world completely different from the one he is used to.
This film adaptation of Kristian Lundberg’s influential novel, is a semi-autobiographical tale of social immobility and the anguish that it can cause. The story follows an unnamed failing author, who is known by the reference number he is given when he begins working as a labourer at the local harbour in Malmo. Reduced to 11811, he becomes part of the machine, a dehumanised component of the company, easily replaceable as an hourly-rate employee. Taking the job out of desperation, 11811 struggles to accept the malpractices that occur in the workplace; often having to decide whether to keep quiet in order to keep his job or to stand up and support his colleagues who are mistreated. A slippery slope forces 11811 to swallow his dignity. Making the most of his dire situation, he continues in the manually intensive and dangerous job in order to provide for his teenage son.
Måns Månsson’s directing finds contrast in the mechanised world we live in, with man and machine both coexisting but never truly living. Tedious repetitions of daily workplace habits illuminate the dreary life that many manual workers experience. The majority of the workers are immigrants, who resultantly experience prejudice and are often accused of crimes they did not commit. The conditions at the harbour are so poor that many of the employees are reduced to petty theft in order to increase their salaries.
814MB | 1h 14mn | 1027×428 | mkv