Documentary | 2018-2020 | NDR [de] | Docu | China, Germany

Brief synopsis

His cars were as beautiful as "Bella Italia", the Germans' land of longing, much sung about in hit songs. They bore women's names like Isabella or Arabella. And those who drove through the post-war cities in one of his coupés demonstrated to passers-by that prosperity had returned. One was somebody again - at the wheel of a Borgward! The car manufacturer Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Borgward from Bremen delivered the dream cars of the fifties, when the economy seemed to know only one way: the way up. The people of Bremen were all the more stunned by the bankruptcy of their city's largest employer in the summer of 1961.

The brand deserved a second chance, says Christian Borgward today, the grandson of the company founder. He invested ten years and his entire savings in the rebirth of the legend. He gave up his drinks delivery service "Borgward bringt's", won over experienced ex-car managers as comrades-in-arms, bought back the rights to the name and set off on a journey - to China, the economic miracle country of the 21st century. In 2013, Christian Borgward signed a contract with Chinese investor Wang Jinyu. The founder of Beiqi Foton Motor, China's largest truck manufacturer, bought all the brand rights from him in return for a say in the company as head of the supervisory board. The partners' plans to return Borgward to the mass market are overly ambitious and expensive. But in times of digital transformation of the car industry, isn't it completely anachronistic to rely on the sound of an old German brand? What drives the grandson of the ingenious carmaker into such an undertaking, which is judged by some observers to be completely hopeless? The film portrays Christian Borgward's adventurous attempt to gain a foothold in the industry and accompanies him on his way from Wolfsburg, the old car city, to Beijing, the metropolis of e-mobility.


Post production coordinatorStefanie Gimpel
Director of photographySascha Schöberl
Director of photographyBjörn Kowalewsky
Director of photographyPaul Bentzen
Director of photographyOliver Kratz
Director of photographyMicha Bojanowski
Director of photographyAndrzej Król
DirectorTom Fröhlich
EditorKaren Kretzschmar
EditorDoreen Buchholz
ProducerDagmar Rosenbauer
ProducerNadine Mayer
ProducerStefan Bomhof
Production managerRon Philipp Glavas
ScreenwriterHelmut Monkenbusch


TypeCountryStationDate / TimeComment
First showingGermanyNDR [de]Saturday, 05/09/2020, 9.45 PM