In Workingman's Death, documentarian Michael Glawogger travels all over the world in an effort to turn his camera on men who work countless hours in the most deadly yet necessary jobs day after day. Being split into five segments, the film attempts to capture a day in the life of these individuals who have not benefited from the advancement in technology. The first segment is set in the Ukraine, where we follow a group of coal miners who work in a 16-inch tall mineshaft where working conditions are simply unbelievable. The next segment takes place in Indonesia, where Sulfur miners work under extremely grueling conditions out of necessity for their family. From there we travel to Nigeria where we witness an open slaughterhouse in a segment that is certainly not for the faint of heart. The final two segments consist of migrant workers in Pakistan whom disassemble enormous oil tankers piece by piece, and steel workers in China. While the stories which make up Workingman's Death take place all over the world, the film is universal in portraying how these men's bodies are ravaged by manual labor, while also capturing their determination to endure and provide for their families. Glawogger takes his time in each segment, studying the workers' routine while also capturing the typical lifestyle they lead. He spends equal time capturing the environment and the people who live in it, which put together give the film a truly immersive look into each of these unique, and quite frankly terrifying professions. Michael Glawogger's Workingman's Death is a film that doesn't stray away from presenting these professions with a truthful lens, creating a truly immersive and mind-boggling experience.
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