With rare access to the guarded world of sweatshops, Rahul Jain brings us into one of the thousands of textile mills in heavily industrialized Sachin, India. To the rhythmic churning of machines, his anatomical exploration follows the flow of fabric through the labyrinthine factory as it’s carted around; spooled and unspooled; and passed through dye presses, baths, and sundry machines—ultimately headed to couture stores a world apart. But the dim and claustrophobic mill, with its chaotic patchwork of cords and pipes, is also home to human toil.
A visceral, intensely cinematic experience, Machines explores the intertwining of worker and machine, labor and commodity, and humanity and industrialization. Through mesmerizing chiaroscuro imagery that echoes Salgado, Machines offers indelible impressions of machine labor: a man battling a fiery furnace, a child repeatedly jolting himself awake as he feeds fabric along the line. And through scant dialogue, the film gives voice to the countless migrant workers who take out loans to travel great distances and work 12-hour days, often more—all for a chance at a barely livable existence.
Language: Hindi, English (English subtitles)
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