Bertram Verhaag

2008 52 min.

Original version in English with Catalan or Spanish subtitles

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Technical specs

    • Photography: Waldemar Hauschild, Gerardo Milsztein (BVK)
    • Direction and Production: Bertram Verhaag
    • Sound: Zoltan Ravasz (VDT)
    • Film Editing: Verena Schönauer
    • Production assistants: Kim Koch, Carolin Neubauer
    • Music: Bauer Karger Holzapfel
    • Suitable for all audiences



The average age of the employees at the Vita Needle Company, a needle and tubing factory near Boston, is an amazing 74 years.
The Boss Frederik Hartmann swears by his 35 working pensioners. In just five years they helped to increase companies sales by 100 percent! These employees “hired for life” like Mary, Marion, Paul, Tom, Ann and Rosa, all between 75 and 96 years of age found a new home, feel happy in their community and are needed. They are loyal, have a strong sense of responsibility and are highly motivated. Rivalries or power struggles have no place in their lives. The free choice of working times and working hours leaves them enough time for grandchildren, doctors appointments or gymnastic. In their interviews, in a touching and endearing way, the elderly workers at the needle factory reveal their newfound sense of self-confidence. Full of joy and vitality, they describe how happy they are working together, and also talk about the dream they all share: to be able to climb up the steps leading to the production hall for as long as possible! Hartmanns innovative approach seriously questions attitudes in our
society, which treats even people as young as 50 as being virtually incompetent.

About direction (Bertram Verhaag)

Born in Sosnowitz (Upper Silesia) in 1944. Studied sociology and political economics. After some years of working in Munich’s town development department, 1972-1975 College of Film and Television in Munich. In 1976 he founded the production company DENKmal-Film together with Claus Strigel. As part of the DENKmal-Team they worked together on about 90 films for cinema and TV as directors, writers and producers.