Tesla documentary with redacted Elon Musk tweets and quotes wins award

Elon Musk's SpaceX Tesla

A Tesla documentary from German media group Frontal21, which caught a notable amount of criticism from the electric vehicle community due to its rather dubious use of Elon Musk’s tweets and statements, recently won an award for “quality journalism.” The award was received by the documentary’s two authors, as indicated by a tweet from the media group. 



Frontal21’s documentary, titled “Turbo, Tempo, Tesla – Elon Musk in Brandenburg,” debuted on March. The film discussed Tesla’s ongoing efforts to build Gigafactory Berlin, as well as the issues that have arisen as a result of it. During the documentary’s 44-minute runtime, Frontal21 spent a good portion of its film focusing on the alleged water and environmental problems that Tesla’s presence in the area could cause, among others. 

Inasmuch as an angle focusing on the criticisms surrounding Giga Berlin was interesting, the German media group caught some flak from the EV community after it was observed that the documentary featured redacted tweets from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, as well as a pertinent interview that was cut in the middle.

This was most noticeable in the documentary’s segment that featured Elon Musk’s statements during a visit to Giga Berlin. When featuring Musk’s comments about the water supply concerns for the facility, the documentary cut the CEO’s full statement, resulting in Musk’s main point being absent from the film. Musk’s full comments, which were cut from the documentary, could be found below. 

“The factory just is not a very intense consumer of water per square meter. That’s, you know, over the course of the year, per square meter, it’s not a very intense usage of water, and we’ll recycle as much as humanly possible. I’m pretty confident that it’ll be the most environmentally friendly factory in the world. 

“And that’s what they are about. And so anything we can do to make it better for the environment, we want to do that, because that’s the mission of the company. So if anyone has any advice, we’re very open to criticism and advice for what we can do better. So let us know,” Musk said. 



ZDF.de, a German public-service television broadcaster, defended Frontal21’s documentary and its decision to air a redacted version of the Tesla CEO’s statement. According to ZDF, since there is no provision for water recycling in Giga Berlin as of March, the editing of Musk’s interview was legitimate. 

“Regarding the accusation that we simply shortened the interview with Elon Musk: In the end, Elon Musk says in our interview that he wants to recycle as much water as possible. According to the responsible authorities, there is currently no provision for water to be recycled in the Gigafabrik Berlin (as of March 24, 2021). Therefore, the shortening of the original sound is legitimate,” the broadcaster wrote

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