Producer
Director
Martin Herzog
Producer
16:9 HDTV
Genre
History
Broadcaster
WDR
Length
1 x 45'
Editor
Year
2018
OUR LAND 1986
All Lies

The naked truth? 1986 was the year of Fake News in the 80s, although the term didn't even exist yet. The facts were constantly changing: There was the contaminated rain from Chernobyl. But that wasn't so bad, said the politicians. There were the abducted reconstruction workers from Wuppertal. It was their own fault, said the US Secretary of State. The Rhine was red. Everything was harmless, said the chemical industry. All the lies and fairy tales they told us! But everything bad also has something good, and that became apparent in 1986.

Sometimes you have to deceive to uncover the truth. Günter Wallraff was a master at this, and his film: "Ganz unten" attracted over a quarter of a million viewers to the cinema.
"A danger can be absolutely ruled out" sounded Interior Minister Zimmermann when the news of the reactor accident in Ukraine reached Germany. Shortly afterwards, the import of food from seven Eastern European states was banned by the EC, as was the sale of field vegetables and fruit from NRW.

A young radiologist from Bochum wanted to know for sure and set off with his Geiger counter: in Hamm-Uentrop, Dietrich Grönemeyer detected increased radiation doses that could not have come from Chernobyl but from the nearby nuclear power plant. All denials were of no avail: radioactivity had leaked there, too. Lies like these and others led to a lasting shaking of the public's confidence in nuclear power.

Capitalism? Communism? No one has the truth to himself. Perhaps there was something like a third way. More and more young people therefore went to Nicaragua. But in spring 86, 12 of these reconstruction workers were kidnapped by "Contras". Four of them managed to escape, including Dagmar Vogel from Oberhausen.

The kidnapping made waves even in the highest government circles. The American Secretary of State brazenly claimed that the reconstruction workers were armed, and thus a party to the war. An outright lie.
In the summer, World Cup fever broke out once again in NRW: Toni Schumacher had saved the German team with his saves in the final. But in the final, of all things, the national goalkeeper from Düren let three balls through. But the truth is: one bad day does not make a bad footballer.

The water shimmered red, fish floated up the keel. After the major fire at the Swiss chemical company Sandoz, the fire was quickly extinguished, but the Rhine was contaminated. Everything was harmless, the company said. Shortly afterwards, the second wave of poison sloshed down the Rhine, this time from BASF in Karlsruhe. Also harmless. And then?

In times of need, most Rhine communities were able to switch to alternative water supplies. But the 13,000 inhabitants of the town of Unkel depended on Rhine water. "And that was simply turned off to us," Elisabeth Barth recounts. The small town in Rhineland-Palatinate was supplied by the fire brigade from tankers for a fortnight. Until rescue came from NRW.

Shift in the shaft: Zollverein was the last Essen colliery to close its doors in December 1986. The end of an era, and on the day before Christmas Eve of all days! Günter Stoppa helped to wind up Zollverein and shook his head at the strange people from the heritage protection agency. They wanted to turn the colliery into a museum. In the meantime, Zollverein has become a World Heritage Site and is alive and kicking. In truth, every end is also a beginning.

Ten prominent personalities from NRW are sponsors and spokespersons for the films. They tell the stories and events of their highlight year and thus make the series "Our Country - The 80s" also a very personal and entertaining journey back in time to an explosive decade. "Alles Lüge" is narrated by Jan-Gregor Kremp, who began his acting career in 1986.

First broadcast: Friday, 21 September 2018, 8.15 p.m., WDR

OUR LAND 1986 - All Lies

The naked truth? 1986 was the year of Fake News in the 80s, although the term didn't even exist yet. The facts were constantly changing: There was the contaminated rain from Chernobyl. But that wasn't so bad, said the politicians. There were the abducted reconstruction workers from Wuppertal. It was their own fault, said the US Secretary of State. The Rhine was red. Everything was harmless, said the chemical industry. All the lies and fairy tales they told us! But everything bad also has something good, and that became apparent in 1986.

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