We Are All Detroit – What Stays and What Disappears

These two very different cities – Bochum, in Germany’s Ruhr region, and Detroit, in the US Rust Belt – have something very important in common: both Detroit and Bochum were substantially shaped by the automobile industry. And both the beginning and the end of Bochum’s auto industry can be traced to Detroit. Following the end of the industrial age, the people on both sides of the globe are in search of a new identity. The audience is introduced both to the residents affected by these developments, whose reality is defined by them, and to the active players – planners, scientists and politicians – in the transformation, all announcing promises and visions for a future that is more than uncertain. Despite all their differences, the residents of Bochum and Detroit are connected by their desire for a dignified and happy life and this cinematic journey through the two cities becomes a journey into the hearts of their people.

  • Ulrike Franke
    Director
  • Michael Loeken
    Director
  • Uwe Schäfer
    Cinematography
  • Philip Hallay
    Cinematography
  • Fabrizio Costantini
    Cinematography
  • Michael Loeken
    Cinematography
  • Michael Chauvistré
    Cinematography
  • Jörg Adams
    Cinematography
  • Florian Högerle
    Sound
  • Ulrike Franke
    Sound
  • Bal-Aton Bori
    Sound
  • Michael Loeken
    Sound
  • Max Walter
    Sound
  • Guido Krajewski
    Editors
  • Bert Schmidt
    Editors
  • Maciej Śledziecki
    Music
  • filmproduktion loekenfranke
    Producer
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    We are all Detroit – Vom Bleiben und Verschwinden
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Genres:
    Globalisation, Work
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 59 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    October 1, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    Germany
  • Country of Filming:
    Germany, United States
  • Language:
    English, German
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Internationale Hofer Filmtage
    Hof
    Germany
    October 29, 2021
    World Premiere
  • Duisburger Filmwoche
    Duisburg
    Germany
    November 13, 2021
  • Kinofest Lünen
    Lünen
    Germany
    November 26, 2021
    Main award (audience)
  • Ruhrtriennale
    North-Rhine Westphalia
    Germany
    September 23, 2023
Distribution Information
  • NEW DOCS
    Sales Agent
    Country: Worldwide
  • Real Fiction Filmverleih
    Distributor
    Country: Germany
Director Biography - Ulrike Franke, Michael Loeken

Ulrike Franke was born in Dortmund in 1970, Michael Loeken in Neviges in 1954. Independently of each other, they studied theatre, film and television studies in Cologne, Franke also studied Romance studies and art history. Afterwards they both worked on various documentary, feature film and cinema productions, Loeken primarily as a sound engineer. Since 1996 they have been working together as authors, directors and producers. In addition, they have held numerous jury and teaching positions as well as project-related interdisciplinary collaborations with theatres and artists. Since 2017, Franke has been a professor of auteur documentary film at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne.

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Director Statement

For many years, we have been captivated by the Ruhr region, this landscape in flux, and time and again we feel the need to approach it and, in particular, its people on film. In WE ARE ALL DETROIT, our work inevitably led us from Bochum to Detroit, because Bochum's fate as a car city has always been in the hands of General Motors, one of the most powerful car industries.