Release date:February 24, 2006
Studio:Seventh Art Releasing
Director Michael Glawogger's epic-scale documentaries pull together grand, global themes in unexpected ways. His Megacities, which played at the Festival in 1998, deconstructed modern archetypes of Big City life; in his newest film, "Workingman's Death," he similarly deconstructs contemporary conceptions of work - by showcasing six of the most grueling and dangerous professions he could find. Glawogger visits with workers in far-flung corners of the world. From a sixteen-inch-high sprawling coal mineshaft in the Ukraine to a gruesome slaughter yard in Nigeria he delivers spectacular footage of the most laborious labor this planet has to offer. At once a rejoinder to those predicting the death of manual labor and a ground-level lesson on globalization, the film makes the efforts of these impoverished men something heroic. They represent a forgotten kind of courage. In Kawah Ijen, Indonesia, men mine sulphur from the blistering heat of a volcano basin while tourists take pictures. In Gaddani, Pakistan, bare-handed migrants work as ship-breakers on a seaside beach, disassembling oil carriers piece by piece. All of this work is captured in Glawogger's characteristic stunning compositions, with an eye for the harsh grandeur of elemental and industrial environments.