Packard: the last shift

7 minutes

A poetic tour through Detroit’s abandoned, ghostly Packard Automotive Plant

Detroit’s Packard Automotive Plant was once considered to be the finest in the world, and an emblem of the city’s economic and industrial might. But more than 60 years after manufacturing its last luxury car, the long-abandoned facility has transformed into a symbol for Detroit’s decades-long economic slide. The US filmmaker Brian Kaufman brings us into the plant at a unique moment in time: long after its life as an automotive powerhouse, but before its demolition and rehabilitation, which began in late 2014. With the building’s fate uncertain, it becomes something of a Rorschach test for locals, who view it by turns as a danger, a venue for public art, an eyesore, and the damaged spirit of a city desperately in need of revitalisation. Packard: The Last Shift – which is split between a poem from the Detroit-based Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Philip Levine and interviews with residents of the city – is excerpted from an eponymous 2014 feature-length documentary on the plant.

Director: Brian Kaufman

Producer: Kathy Kieliszewski

Video/History of Technology

Breakthroughs, quackery and strange beauty: the afterlife of outmoded medical devices

5 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Ethics

If soldiers act with unjust aggression they are as culpable as civilian criminals

6 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Neuroscience

A happy life is built on pleasures such as sex and food, but also company and variety

7 minutes

volume_up
play_arrow
pause
Essay/Human Rights

What do slaveholders think?

It is everywhere illegal yet slavery persists in many corners of the global economy. How do its beneficiaries justify it?

Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick

Idea/Politics & Government

There's a Green Card-holder at the heart of Greek philosophy

David V Johnson

Video/Work

‘Brand consultant’? ‘PR researcher’? Why the ‘bullshit jobs’ era needs to end

4 minutes

Idea/Politics & Government

Why bureaucrats matter in the fight to preserve the rule of law

Melissa Lane

Essay/Subcultures

Going underground

Subterranean metaphors have been a powerful tool of political resistance. Today, is there anywhere left to hide?

Terence Renaud

Video/Nature & Environment

Can combining commerce and conservation keep American bison in the wild?

15 minutes