Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.. This is the record of a successful sales discussion. When the buyer has said five times, the teacher explains, his brain has become so sluggish, that he'll say yes a sixth time.

The teacher comes from West Germany. The classroom is in a Clubhotel in Tessin. The pupils come from East Germany. They are employees of two East German building firms now belonging to a West German owner.

Harun Farocki's new documentary Die Umschulung is an instructional film concerning work on the inner unity of the country. […] The refinement of the educational method captured by Farocki, lies in self-reference. The dialog in the lesson, which is intended to teach the art of sales talk, is itself conducted in the form of a sales talk. The teacher weaves in anecdotes, asks rhetorical questions, entices and warns. Goal and method are one; a reduction of complexity. "When you leave here, your vocabulary will be significantly reduced."

The laws of supply and demand govern the marketplace for words too. The rise in demand for 'yes' corresponds to the shortfall in demand for 'no'. The pupils are not even allowed to shake their heads. "Why are you not allowed to shake your head in a live situation, Herr Wagner?" "Because it expresses refusal." "If now, we are in a stronger position, then we won't have to discuss the price with them at all." […] The maxims the teacher has them memorize are a summary of the paradoxes of individuality as produced by moralistic theory. "I means nothing. You means everything. Only the person opposite counts. You must change your life." But the subordination to the other person is only aimed at overcoming him with a sale. The individual only exists by the grace of society.

(Barbara Sichtermann)

Original title Die Umschulung Director, scriptwriter Harun Farocki Assistant director Ronny Tanner Cinematographer Ingo Kratisch, Thomas Arslan Editor Max Reimann Sound Klaus Klingler Assistant producer Aysun Bademsoy, Anna Faroqhi, Elke Naters Production SWF, Baden-Baden, Harun Farocki Filmproduktion, Berlin Producer Harun Farocki TV-producer Ebbo Demant Format video-BetaSp, col., 1:1,37 Length 44 min. First broadcast 09.06.1994, ARD Awards Adolf-Grimme-Preis, 1995 (category "General films / Information and culture") Note commissioned for the TV series leben lernen inklusive