Rahul Jain

India, Germany, Finland 2016, 71 min.


Spoken language: Hindi

Subtitles: English

Festival year: 2017

Poetic documentary that sketches an aesthetically beautiful portrait of the appalling working conditions in India's textile factories. Exposed to the deafening noise of machines, adults and children work long hours for a pittance.


To the south of the Indian city of Surat lies a huge industrial area that has steadily grown in size ever since the sixties. Director Rahul Jain’s camera closely follows the daily goings-on in one of the numerous textile factories, where men and machines seem to have created a dust-producing monster.

Conditions in the factory are bad, to say the least: hot, noisy and with hardly any daylight, and the work is mind-numbing. Adults and children labour twelve hours for no more than three dollars a day. Despite these appalling conditions, the filmmaker has succeeded in creating a beautiful documentary that draws the viewer into the dark world of textile manufacturing, alternating long, observational sequences with short interviews. Some of the footage is miraculously beautiful, whereas other images are almost too painful to see, such as the scene of a heavily nodding boy who struggles to stay awake and continue his work.

Text: Annika Wubbolt



Pallas Film


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Talkshows & debates

Machines: Q&A with Pauline Overeem

Saturday, April 01, 2017 - 19:00

Researcher and journalist Pauline Overeem speaks about the garments sectors in Asia.