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Dirty Work (2004)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 83 users  
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Documentarians David Sampliner & Tim Nackashi follow three men with odd, potentially unpleasant careers -- a bull semen collector, a sewage tank pumper, and an embalmer.

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Dirty Work follows three men who deal with our unpleasant business -- Russ, a bull semen collector, Darrell, a septic tank pumper, and Bernard, an embalmer. They take us into worlds that are right under our noses but we never see, providing services most of us depend on but prefer not to do ourselves. Unorthodox childhoods led them into these odd, intense careers, giving them uncommon insight into how the rest of us live. Darrell traces cultural trends from what he finds in septic tanks. Russ sees his job collecting semen from prize bulls as a way to help save the family farmer. And Bernard the "restorative artist" offers an irreverent look into how the modern death industry distances us from the dead we're trying to mourn. Above all, Dirty Work is the story of how three men discover their passion in our society's undesirable professions. Russ, Darrell, and Bernard don't just do our dirty work, they feel called to it. After meeting them, you will never look at their work or our world ... Written by David Sampliner & Tim Nackashi

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January 2004 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
. . . dirty or not, *someone's got to do it!
25 May 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"When everyone has PhD's, the last garbageman on Earth is going to make a fortune . . ."

Quite a fascinating piece of film. It switches from one occupation to the other, although not quite with the complexity of Erol Morris's "Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control", where you start to see connections between the (seemingly disparate) jobs as the voiceovers about one occupation start to play over visuals of another.

But very interesting - if only to jog your mind into thinking about things you'd might not ever think about otherwise.

The septic tank cleaners segments reminded me of Asimov's short story "Ragusnik" (or some similar spelling). It's in his "Nightfall" collection of short stories.


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