Grand Jury Prize ~ World Cinema: Documentary
Sundance Film Festival
World Cinema Documentary ~ Cinematography Award
Sundance Film Festival
Gliding, quietly mesmerizing…the as macro and micro levels, closing in on a wealth of expressive and reactive human detail.



In his debut film MACHINES (winner of the Special Jury Award for Cinematography at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival), Rahul Jain returns to his childhood home of Sachin in India’s Gujarat state and documents a striking visual paradox: intensely sensual images of colorful fabrics produced in a Dickensian factory in which men and children work tirelessly for a pittance, some barefoot. They are some of the 45 million workers that support the $40 billion Indian textile and garment industries.

Punctuating stunning Steadicam shots, where Mr. Jain’s camera takes viewers into dark, damp and sometimes fiery working spaces, are sparse and sharp testimonials from the workers describing their own experiences – as well as their failed efforts at improving working conditions. One man asks rhetorically: “But what is poverty anyway? Poverty is harassment, Sir.”

Uniquely combining ravishing visuals with social advocacy, MACHINES weaves a moving portrait of people toiling amid pulsating machines, bubbling vats of dye, and colorful, billowing cascades of textiles.

“Gliding, quietly mesmerizing… The camera, elegantly manned by Rodrigo Trejo Villanueva… works as macro and micro levels, closing in on a wealth of expressive and reactive human detail.” – Guy Lodge, Variety

"“An all-too-rare combination of artistic vision and social conscience. Eye-opening and austerely uncompromising." – Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter

"Five stars! Astonishing. A dignifying hymn to the common worker." —The Guardian
Not Rated
English, Hindi
Rahul Jain
Nominee, Grand Jury Prize ~ World Cinema: Documentary, Sundance Film Festival
Winner, World Cinema Documentary ~ Cinematography Award, Sundance Film Festival
David Ehrlich, Indiewire

A spare and unflinching documentary about the true cost of cheap textiles, “Machines” doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know about the inhumane work conditions in countries like India, but it forces us to become palpably familiar with the awful facts of the matter. Applying a hyper-visceral ...

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