Even though The Nothing Factory (A Fábrica de Nada, Pedro Pinho, 2017), a feature film about Portuguese workers occupying their factory, seemingly stands out as an activist project, it also uses its ambitious and unpredictable structure to convey its political message in surprisingly artistic ways. The documentary, cinéma vérité style aesthetics is combined with relatively experimental narrative techniques, which means that the film does not focus solely on the workers’ issues, but also functions as a critique of (leftist) activism and even as a consideration of the artist’s role in times of social unrest. The mixing of scenes picturing the workers’ occupation or their wait in an empty factory with philosophical debates about the state of capitalism and the transfer of the crisis to the level of an individual’s personal and love life overshadow the realistic rawness and the relative linearity and thus function as an extremely complex, multilayered look into the consequences of European austerity measures.

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