Only once it had been learned how filmic images grasp for ideas and are themselves seized by them, were we able to see with hindsight that the resolution of the workers’ motion represents something, that the visible movement of people is standing in for the absent and invisible movement of goods, money, and ideas circulating in the industrial sphere. In the opening sequence of this first film, the cinema’s basic stylistic principle is already present. Its signs and meanings are not put into the world, they arise from the real.
In the cinema it is as if the world itself wanted to tell us something.
– Harun Farocki, “Workers Leaving the Factory”