The world’s most horrible, life-endangering jobs are the subject of Austrian Michael Glawogger’s superbly cinematic, confrontingly aestheticised documentary.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
The world’s most horrible, life-endangering jobs are the subject of Austrian Michael Glawogger’s superbly cinematic, confrontingly aestheticised documentary. In the Ukraine men crawl through the cramped shafts of illegal coal mines to eke out a living. Tourists watch as sulphur gatherers in East Java brave the gaseous heat of an active volcano. In Nigeria, blood and the stench of burning flesh are routine for workers at a vast open-air abattoir. In Pakistan men use little more than their bare hands to dismantle beached oil tankers for scrap metal…
“Glawogger’s elegiac and revelatory documentary shows in the most visceral fashion imaginable that, for all the recent attention paid to the phenomenon of call-centres or various forms of offshore commerce, a great deal of work in the developing world is still of the back-breaking, life-threatening variety… His work heaves with sorrow and with pity. The immensity of its abjection appals. And yet, always, he insists on demonstrating the will to survive of these wretched of the earth.” — Sukhdev Sandhu, New Statesman