An essayistic study of Hamburg-Hammerbrook and a search for historical traces. Hammerbrook is where the filmmaker’s family once lived – until the densely populated working-class neighbourhood was almost completely destroyed in World War II airstrikes. Traces of the destruction – visible and invisible – can still be found in the cityscape today. Between memorials and reconstruction, a history is hidden that turned the entire area into a gigantic cemetery. This district on the eastern border of the city’s centre has always been a target of urban planners. After the war, it was declared an industrial area; today, new residential units are planned.
A new studio brought Louis Fried to Hammerbrook. Combining tranquil images, chance encounters, and incisive observation, he reflects on his family history, on the past and future of Hammerbrook, and on the life lived against the almost unreal backdrop of canals, factories, and exit ramps.