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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/Music

What happens when rock stardom doesn’t quite work out?

10 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Neuroscience

Psychiatry is due for a revolution in diagnosis and treatment through brain science

4 minutes

Video/Demography & Migration

On the US-Mexico border, loved ones on both sides can see each other but cannot touch

12 minutes

Essay/History

Les Anglo-Saxons

Not just American or British, the Anglo-Saxon is a mirror to Frenchness: the country’s alter-ego and most feared enemy

Emile Chabal

Video/Law & Justice

What is Mother’s Day to a child whose mother is in prison?

8 minutes

Idea/Race

How ‘white people’ were invented by a playwright in 1613

Ed Simon

Essay/War & Conflict

Don’t look away

Photography came of age amid the wars and atrocities, as well as the humanitarian aspirations, of the modern world

Jeremy Adelman

Idea/Cities

This striking feature of Manila makes it an emblematic global city

Nancy Kwak

Video/Cities

In the shadows of high-rises, Shanghai’s small neighbourhoods struggle to survive

13 minutes