Leopold Hoesch
Nicole Kraack
Annebeth Jacobsen
1 x 45'
Jan Richter & Manh Tung Pham
Thick air and fresh wind

In 1973, North Rhine-Westphalia was full of steam: thick air and a fresh wind blew through Our Land. The fourth part of the ten-part documentary series about the 1970s in North Rhine-Westphalia shows how thick fog, legendary street sweepers and a singing foreign minister shaped the attitude to life in 1973.

Marie-Luise Marjan fondly remembers the shooting of the film "Smog" by Wolfgang Petersen. She played the female lead in it. The WDR environmental thriller shocked the audience at the time. Many viewers thought the film version of an environmental disaster in the Ruhr area was real.

Filmmaker Nicole Kraack found contemporary witnesses for whom a moment in 1973 completely changed their lives - for example Christa Vahlensieck. She made the marathon a women's affair. At that time, this sport was taboo for the "weaker" sex in professional sports. In the small town of Waldniel, she and others ran the world's first all-female marathon. And won it in a record time of under three hours.

1973 was also the year when "wildcat strikes" swept NRW and the then so-called "guest workers" gave vent to their displeasure. In Lippstadt at Hella or at Ford in Cologne they demanded more pay and better working conditions. Migrant women in particular took to the barricades. One of them was the Greek Irina Vavitsa - on strike for more justice, especially for the foreign women.

In addition, a very special disgust, Germany's first talk show and the first comedy format flickered across the screen of the WDR programme known as "Das Dritte". The plateau shoe spread across NRW's pavements and the oil crisis spoiled the trip for drivers on "Sundays again and again". A comet also created a doomsday mood. And the men's world cried out: Carmen Thomas was the first woman to present the "Current Sports Studio". Scandal!

The film is narrated by WDR presenter Asli Sevindim, who was born in Duisburg in 1973. WDR was able to win a total of ten prominent personalities from NRW as sponsors and narrators of the films. They tell the stories and events of the year they were born, making the series "Our Country - the 1970s" a very personal and entertaining journey back in time to a turbulent decade.

First broadcast: Friday, 1 September 2017 at 8:15 pm on WDR

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