The blacks ruined Detroit

Ford, General Motors, Chrysler - the big three have made Detroit a motor city. As the center of automotive engineering, the city represented the realization of the "American Dream" for many years. Anyone can make it to the top. There are no limits to progress. That went well as long as more and more cars were needed. But auto production in Detroit has been declining for 50 years. Instead of the previous two million, only 700,000 people now live there, half of whom are unemployed. Hundreds of factory buildings are empty. They are falling into disrepair just like thousands of houses. That means nearly two-thirds of all buildings in Detroit are vacant, and people are wondering what will happen to their ruined city.

Joseph Adragna, 85 years old, knew the Packard Plant car factory from its heyday, and it was closed in 1958. Today music videos are shot here in the doomsday style. Mama Pay Check, a native of Poland, runs a bar where writer Steve Hughes loves to have a beer and make up stories, stories of unemployed little people trying to make ends meet.

80 percent of Detroit's population is black. They came in the 1940s and 50s because there was less racial discrimination here than in the rest of the United States. The Armor family is no exception. The grandfather worked at General Motors for 40 years. The grandmother kept the family together. People like you experienced the golden era of Detroit and carry the music of Motown within them. Their children were then more affected by the large bursts of layoffs than the whites. And the drug wave of the 80s threw many black families off track.

The black artist Olayami Dabls deals with his African roots in his monumental sculptures. The concept artist Scott Hocking, who has meanwhile achieved considerable fame, erects spectacular sculptures in abandoned factories. His current work, a large egg made of heavy marble slabs, is being created in Detroit's abandoned central station. Scott Hocking, on the other hand, does not see the ruins ostensibly as decay, but rather as beauty. The documentation tells of the fascination of the ruins for the Detroiters and the spirit of optimism of the residents in a city that has been abandoned to decay.

Decaying monuments of modernity, which tell of rise and fall, of economic prosperity, burst dreams and utopian visions as well as structural changes and political upheavals in the 20th century, are the focus of the five-part documentary series. The individual episodes demonstrate how nature - unaffected by all human interventions - recaptures the lost habitat.