These men are called Lohakhor, or "Iron Eaters," as they labor to break
apart old tankers and container ships -- all by hand. The iron they
produce from the ships is sold and recommissioned for construction.
Filmed on location over the course of five months, IronEaters
provides an intimate look into the deliberately complex and
exploitative bureaucracy under which many of the migrant workers become
trapped. In addition to risking their lives daily in dangerous working
conditions, the workers fall into a cycle of debt and loans, as
supervisors withhold wages and cut hours, forcing the workers to buy on
credit from local grocers.
IronEaters boasts poignant visuals that tell a compelling and
heartbreaking story of men who are at the mercy of nature, machine, and
other men. Dill-Riaz presents amazing and terrifying footage of men struggling against machine; cables rip
violently apart and massive ships crash to pieces into the sea while workers scramble out of the way. Dill-Riaz effectively captures a microcosmic example of greed and poverty in developing nations, along with the crushing feeling of helplessness that seems to
govern the situation.
IronEaters is showing at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco at noon, Sunday, November 8 as a part of the 3rd I South Asian Film Festival.