Taste of Hope

Director: Laura Coppens / 71 min. / 2019 / French (ST: German, English) / Switzerland

In a world driven by competition and capital, workers of a self-managed tea factory struggle to survive against all odds.

Director: Laura Coppens
Cinematography: Laura Coppens
Editor: Angelika Levi, Laura Coppens
Production: Srikandi Productions, Laura Coppens

Watch the film on Vimeo!

The workers of a self-managed tea factory decide to go against the grain and play by their own rules. The problem is, how can you plan, work and survive in a world driven by ruthless competition? One day at a time, for instance. In a world ruled by profit and dominated by the exploitation of the weaker ones, the film literally offers an alternative set of ways about how to think our future and the means and tools to work for it. It is not an easy job but, as Taste of Hope carefully and precisely shows, there is still a lot that can be done if we change our relationship to production and labor. Instead of making grand gestures or political statements, the filmmaker works with the camera and with a thoughtful editing in order to understand how to weave together new possibilities of communal existence. The result is a superbly crafted observational exercise. A little manual of self-defense and resistance in the face of a neoliberalism that wishes for workers to keep their heads down. A taste of hope indeed.

Director: Laura Coppens
Script: Laura Coppens
Cinematography: Laura Coppens
Sound: Laura Coppens
Editing: Angelika Levi, Laura Coppens
Music: Azadeh Zandieh
Sounddesign: Azadeh Zandieh
Color Correction: Waveline, Matthias Behrens
Production: Laura Coppens, Srikandi Productions

Laura Coppens
Taste of Hope (2019)
Children of Srikandi (2012)

“Unobtrusive and humane, it is reminiscent of American documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman’s studies of institutional cultures and workplaces. Proper to her training as a social anthropologist, director Laura Coppens is keenly sensitive to place and people. This skill for observation comes through in the film’s treatment of the factory as a unique environment, as well as its attention to daily rhythms and the interpersonal dynamics of people.”

“Employee-owned businesses are the future. There have been too many narratives about people losing jobs and security lately, and this is extremely important to acknowledge. But we also need to have stories that instill hope, that show that there are other options available. “Taste of Hope” is an incredibly smart film, in that it doesn’t only concentrate on the force of spirit that led the “Scop-TI” employees to become their own bosses: it also asks “what’s next?” Coppens arrived to film the factory when the rush of the resistance had already worn off, and the more mundane, but crucial challenges started adding layers to the new labor system at place. This way, “Taste of Hope” became a more complex, thought-provoking case study of workers reclaiming their agency, with emphasis on the essential practical side of things. Necessary viewing for those interested in how labor relationships will evolve in the future, with a delightful field trip to a tea-making factory as a bonus.”

FESTIVALS (selection)
Visions du Réel, Nyon (World Premiere) | Winner Prix du Jury SSA/ SUISSIMAGE & Prix ZONTA
Open City Documentary Festival, London
DokuBaku International Documentary Film Festival, Baku | Winner Audience Award
Margaret Mead Film Festival, New York City | Nominated for the Margaret Mead Filmmakers Award
DOK Leipzig International Documentary Film Festival, Leipzig | Nominated for the Healthy Workplace Award
Duisburger Filmwoche, Duisburg
FIPADOC, Biarritz | Nominated for the Impact Award
Solothurner Filmtage, Solothurn
DocPoint, Helsinki
Dokumentarfilmwoche Hamburg
Ethnocineca – International Documentary Film Festival Vienna
International Documentary Film Festival ELBE DOCK | Special mention
The Between Women Filmmakers Caravan Beirut
Vizanthrop Festival, Serbia
DokKa – Dokumentarfilmfestival Karlsruhe
Festival Millenium, Brussels
Globale Mittelhessen
Solidarity Tel Aviv Human Rights Film Festival