EN / DE / FR / PL / ΕΛ / ES / IT / LT / RO
EN / DE / FR / PL / ΕΛ / ES / IT / LT / RO
Mit dem Rettungshubschrauber nachts im Einsatz | © Volker Schmidt-Sondermann
© Volker Schmidt-Sondermann
Documentary (Series) | 2022 | ZDF [de] | Germany

Project data

Length of movie28min

Brief synopsis

When others fire up the grill, put on their jogging shoes and enjoy their evening, the night shift begins for 3.7 million people in Germany. They work where labor is urgently needed, in the medical sector, heavy industry or the food industry. People who regularly work against their biorhythms, have less time for their families and friends. They are also exposed to increased health risks: lack of sleep, high blood pressure, depression are among them. Scientists repeatedly suspect a connection between shift work and cancer. In the port of Hamburg at the wholesale fish market, "37°" accompanies Julian and his team of eight through the night. Julian has been the manager of a family business for two years. There, night after night, several tons of fish are ordered from Scandinavia, filleted and sold to customers in the greater Hamburg area. Six days a week, Julian works twelve hours every night. No problem for the 24-year-old, five hours of sleep would be enough for him. That doesn't leave much time for private contacts. That's why Julian is glad that he met his girlfriend Lisa at the age of 15, when nights were still real nights. Julian took over the business from his mother Heidi. She steered the fortunes for 35 years. But at some point, the night shifts became so physically demanding for her that she had to pull the ripcord. Carolin relies on perfect organization for her night shifts at the steel mill in Eisenhüttenstadt. She is the mother of two sons and shares family management with her husband Normen. While Carolin works rotating shifts, i.e. early, late and night shifts, Normen went on regular day duty a few years ago. The constant night shifts had worn him down. Carolin, 33, continues to work in the cold rolling mill as shift foreman and is responsible for around 28 colleagues. Work and private life can only be reconciled if a strict schedule is adhered to: dinner with the family, bedtime story, 9:30 p.m. shift start. According to Carolin, around 3:00 a.m. is the "dead-eye hour. That's when it's all about hanging in there. At 5:30 a.m., her shift finally ends and she goes to the gas station to get rolls. Wake up the boys, kiss her husband goodbye and go to bed. Martin, 40, works as an emergency paramedic at the Senftenberg air rescue base. His schedule also includes regular night shifts. When the helicopter takes off, it's often a matter of life and death: traffic accidents, heart attacks, emergency transfers. Adrenaline rushes through the veins, and the four-man rescue team is wide awake. Martin assists the rescue doctor in the flying intensive care unit and supports the pilots, who travel in pairs at night and fly with special night vision equipment. After the mission, the battle against fatigue begins. With impressive footage from the respective life worlds, the film sets out on the trail of the night workers and wants to know how they cope with the special challenges, organize their everyday lives and maintain their social contacts.


2d artistIgor Mariniuk
Director of photographyThomas Beckmann
Sony FX9
Sony FX9
DirectorVolker Schmidt-Sondermann
EditorSebastian Scholz
ProducerVolker Schmidt-Sondermann
ProducerKatja Aischmann
ScreenwriterVolker Schmidt-Sondermann
Sound recordist (non fiction)Felix Schlechte
Sound recordist (non fiction)René Dohme
Commissioning editorMarina Fuhr

Production companies

Tellux-Film GmbH Dresden [de]


TypeCountryStationDate / TimeComment
First showingGermanyZDF [de]Tuesday, 27/09/2022, 10.15 PM