Director: Michael Glawogger
Bombay. Mexico City, Moscow, New York. These four 'megacities' have populations of between eight and 24 million people, numbers unprecedented in human history. Austrian documentary maker Michael Glawogger probes both the micro and macrocosm of human experience, his focus is those at the very lowest rungs of the socio-economic ladder, trying to survive in massive urban centres. His cutting commentary on the socially marginalised and poverty stricken is made by examining a dozen lives, three in each city.
A chicken feet vendor, a paint recycler, a trash scavenger, street kids, a performer, a pimp and a crane driver. This film essay offers impressions of the variety and complexity of their everyday lives: crime, homelessness, prostitution and drug addiction. Despite its sweeping global scope (and often spectacular Koyaanisqatsi-like images) the film retains an intimacy with each of its subjects. Rather than simply offer a litany of human misery, Glawogger offers respite by highlighting the pleasures, however small, that each of his subiects draw from their lives.