"With old newsreels, photography and commercials, Campbell builds contrary tales of people, time and place, in which the picture is forever shifting depending on who is holding the camera. ... Arbeit sees the artist's interests move from Belfast to Westphalia and beyond, examining the build-up to Europe's current financial meltdown. As former head of Deutsche Bundesbank and an EU top dog, [influential German economist Hans] Tietmeyer's story continually mushrooms from the particular to the epic, taking in Germany's reunification, the introduction of the euro and the current crisis.
Largely made up of black-and-white photographs, the film is held together by a narrator who speaks with the crusty, antiquated lingo of an ancient Oxford don. He is constantly struggling with his material: from the accounts of hack journalists leapfrogging "complex procedure" in favour of "crude caricatures", to his own tendency to let hindsight colour his descriptions. What emerges is an obscure trail of figures, economic theory and personal anecdotes, which has nonetheless led to where we are now. Whether he's making protean portraits of players or politicians, Campbell's constant is the problem of navigating the past itself."
-- Skye Sherwin, The Guardian