Chinese business culture meets western conditions in a tragicomic but real version of 'The Office' at an American glass factory.
A small local community seems to be saved by the bell when a Chinese company buys a closed factory in Ohio and recruits thousands of workers. But the happiness is short-lived - or at least capricious - in 'American Factory'. The new Chinese billionaire boss comes from a different culture, both in terms of working conditions and social hierarchies. All sides of the tragicomic conflict are captured by the miraculously omnipresent camera, in a both exploratory and entertaining film, which at times looks like a real version of 'The Office'. But there is much more at stake when trade unions and foreign capital have to get along in the 21st century. However, the momentary solidarity between the Chinese and American employees does give us some hope in this story, which analyses the massive cultural clash between management and workers; but it also lets us draw our own conclusions. China's growing international ambitions give Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar's film a prophetic dimension.