Workingman's Death

Austrian filmmaker Michael Glawogger's documentary chronicles some of the most brutally physical jobs in the world, from mining coal in Ukraine to slaughtering goats in Nigeria,. He begins in the bitterly cold Donbass region of Ukraine, where miners painstakingly chip the last reserves of coal from depleted mines, then relocated to Kawah Ijen, where their...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on
Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
Rating:

Austrian filmmaker Michael Glawogger's documentary chronicles some of the most brutally physical jobs in the world, from mining coal in Ukraine to slaughtering goats in Nigeria,. He begins in the bitterly cold Donbass region of Ukraine, where miners painstakingly chip the last reserves of coal from depleted mines, then relocated to Kawah Ijen, where their Indonesian counterparts haul coal from a volcano, descending three miles into its sulfurous depths and hauling up 200-pound loads in baskets balanced across their shoulders like yokes. In Port Harcourt, Nigeria, he watches outdoor slaughterhouse workers butcher goats, while Gaddani, Pakistan he records the labors of rural workers who travel hundreds of miles to the coast for the privilege of dismantling decommissioned tanker ships by hand and selling the scrap metal. Their safety depends entirely on working together methodically, and when the work day is done they bring the same sense of communal effort to prayers and meals. The last two segments contrast two steelworks, a thriving plant in Angang, China, where manual laborers, like the ship dismantlers, work together as a unit, and a shuttered one in Duisberg, Germany, abandoned in the shift to an information- and service-based economy and converted into a sort of “manual labor-land” attraction. Glawogger allows the images to speak for themselves, with no voice-over narration and industrial music by John Zorn as a unifying thread. (In subtitled Russian, Bahasa Indonesian, English, Ibu, Yoruba, Pashtu and Mandarin)

Watch This Now!

Your new favorite show is right here. Trust us.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 2005
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Austrian filmmaker Michael Glawogger's documentary chronicles some of the most brutally physical jobs in the world, from mining coal in Ukraine to slaughtering goats in Nigeria,. He begins in the bitterly cold Donbass region of Ukraine, where miners painst… (more)

Show More »