The film shows you how paint is applied, scraped off, and added to. There is a tremendous amount of physicality involved -- Richter walks repeatedly to and from his work, getting long views; most impressively, with lots of muscle, he drags the large squeegee across the canvas. Sometimes the tool has been loaded with paint, other times it is drawn while empty across what already exists on the canvas.
We learn something about how artists make choices. Richter talks about how painting abstractly differs from figurative work, from working from a model or objects in the world. There is no template in abstract painting. He only has a direction, a condition to respond to, something to feel responsible to once he has placed some paint on the canvas. Only then does the work begin. He also shares some of what are the sources for the ideas and moods for his paintings. For example, we see tacked to his studio wall an eerily ambiguous photograph and images of other art. He explains that these help him establish whether or not his own work is good.