Austria / Germany, 2005 (MIFF 2006, Globalised)
Director: Michael Glawogger
Won the Grierson Award at the London Film Festival.
What would you be prepared to do to earn a living? Michael Glawogger's eye-opening documentary focuses on the extremes to which people will go to earn a wage or, more particularly, those working people that have no choice.
Told in six chapters and spanning the globe from the decaying coal economy of the Ukraine to the burgeoning blast furnaces of China, Workingman's Death examines jobs that make your day at the office look like an eight-hour tea break.
Among the gruelling professions profiled are the sulphur miners of Kawah Ijen, Indonesia, who brave suffocating fumes to break off chunks of sulphur with their bare hands, and the slaughter yard workers of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, who must run through the market place with freshly slaughtered bulls carcases across their shoulders.
Lovingly photographed, Glawogger's film is an awe-inspiring meditation on the nature of work and the nature of documentary as tourist.
Note: contains graphic situations that may disturb some viewers.
D/S Michael Glawogger P Erich Lackner, Peter Wirthensohn WS Paul Thiltges Distribution L German w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2005/122mins
Michael Glawogger was born in Graz, Austria, in 1959. His films include Ant Street (1995), Megacities (1998) State of the Nation (2002) and Slumming (2006).