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Canada, 2004 (MIFF 2005, Documentaries)

Director: Michael Kot

[Shipbreakers] is a portrait of the vast and polluted Indian port of Alang, Gujurat, where some of the largest ships afloat come to die. About 40,000 people live and work in Alang, dismembering by hand and scavenging the remains of 300 vessels every year for eight cents an hour. One Alang worker dies every day, evaporated in gas explosions, torn apart by breaking cables or crushed by unstable loads of scrap metal. Ship owners rarely abide by the UN conventions on the dumping of toxic waste, and the shipbreakers, who survive the daily peril of their job, succumb to asbestosis or cancer from PCBs that flow into the ocean from the rusted hulks. In the timeworn tradition of exploitation, workers come from impoverished villages throughout India to work in Alang. Their bosses push them dangerously to meet the quotas, corruption prevails and the Indian government worries about the media's outcry regarding human rights. [Shipbreakers] is an astounding story of survival, greed, geopolitics and environmental disaster with international consequences. It's a Bhopal waiting to happen.
D/P Michael Kot P Ed Barreveld, Peter Starr WS Johanne St-Arnauld (NHB) TD video/col/2004/70mins

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