Director Rahul Jain presents an intimate, observantly portrayal of the rhythm of life and work in a gigantic textile factory in Gujarat, India. Moving through the corridors and bowels of ...
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Director Rahul Jain presents an intimate, observantly portrayal of the rhythm of life and work in a gigantic textile factory in Gujarat, India. Moving through the corridors and bowels of the enormous and disorientating structure, the camera takes the viewer on a journey to a place of dehumanising physical labor and intense hardship, provoking cause for thought about persistent pre-industrial working conditions and the huge divide between first world and developing countries. Since the 1960s the area of Sachin in western India has undergone unprecedented, unregulated industrialisation, exemplified in its numerous textile factories. MACHINES portraits only one of these factories, while at the same time representing the thousands of labourers working, living and suffering in an environment they can't escape without unity. With strong visual language, memorable images and carefully selected interviews of the workers themselves, Jain tells a story of inequality and oppression, humans and ...
This movie is at once hypnotic in the way you become fully immersed into this chaotic underworld and thought provoking. There is not much dialogue and it causes the viewer to pay attention that much more when there is. One worker explains how it pays 210 rupees a shift, which we previously learn is 12 hours. I'm sure this is the average rate, or the optimistic rate; which comes out to $3.03 per shift or .2525 cents an hour. This work is clearly dangerous, toxic, and grueling in a way first world citizens imagine a Dickensian factory might have been. It appears that many of these workers, a lot of them clearly teenagers, are living within the bowels of this giant textile mill, sleeping on piles of waste fabric, bathing amid the clanking machines; sometimes it is so dark in the steamy damp depths it is hard to pick out people from the cotton bundles. And while almost all of those who speak are clearly grateful for the employment, as well as dignified and self respecting, the abject and depressed body language speaks so much louder. They live within this machine. Being the place where Ghandi also had his textile mills, the reality today couldn't be more bleak and oppressive. This documentary is such a blank canvass for the viewer's imagination. It makes a strong point of simply showing up and letting the environment tell it's objective truth; one can read what one wants onto it. Today people ask how much longer before the machines begin to make us the slaves in their system, but what this documentary shows me at any rate is that we were enslaved a long time ago. One only has to watch this for twenty minutes before it becomes starkly clear these people are the living and breathing parts to this giant mill, one mistep and it would certainly devour them. This film is a mirror being held up to our faces, a piece of deep humanity and introspection.
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