India, Germany, Finland (Director: Rahul Jain) — This intimate, observant portrayal of the rhythm of life and work in a gigantic textile factory in Gujarat, India, moves through the corridors and bowels of the enormously disorienting structure—taking the viewer on a journey of dehumanizing physical labor and intense hardship.
Daunting descent to the underworld of a textile factory in Gujarat, in North-western India, where the cheap clothes for the first world are made. This factory represents many more from Western India, where the scenary and the conditions are like the ones we see here. Claustrophobic, hermetic, unhealthy, dark spaces, with the air saturated of toxic smoke emanated from dye chemicals. Tied to looms, sleepy teenagers, youths and mature men work twelve hours a day for starvation wages: many of them go into debt in order to pay the train ticket to travel from rural areas to the urban factories. The brutal working conditions dehumanize the workers, to the point of turning them into appendixes of machines. Landless peasants join the files of workers without rights nor holydays. Few well selected interviews to workers convey what happens here: employers oppression without any constraint from the State, lack of trade-union reply due to the killing of their leaders, no viable alternative to survive out of the factory.
Relevance: With an excellent cinematography (it gained the Price of the best documentary photography in Sundance), the film transfers a feeling of anguish without loosing artistic dignity. We roam labyrinthic corridors and stagnant rooms, and we absorb the rhythm of production through the monotonous noises from the machines. This great debut of Rahul Jain give voice and faces to some of the more sorely afflicted slaves in the twenty-first century.
Note courtesy Docs and the World