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Witness
Brothers
Taking apart a massive oil tanker, ship-scrappers in Pakistan perform dangerous work for a meagre pay.
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2008 14:44 GMT

Director: Michael Glawogger

Award-winning documentary-maker Michael Glawogger introduces us to the dangerous work performed by ship-scrappers in Gaddani, Pakistan.

Torch-blowers dismantle the ship bit by bit
The men cut huge oil tankers into pieces for scrap metal. As the massive pieces of steel fall into the sea, the men perform their hazardous work with perfectly choreographed co-ordination. One slip of foot or one moment’s negligence could spell disaster.

One labourer is philosophical about the risks: "If we are injured, we are actually glad, or we don't mind," he says, "because good and bad come from God. We fear neither injuries nor death."

“We’re like brothers to each other,” says one labourer. “And we have to trust each other. After all, we’re all that we’ve got.”

This film is part of a longer film by Michael Glawogger entitled Working Man’s Death which depicts those toiling away at some of the world’s most mind-bendingly agonizing professions.  Each film is a harrowing and visually-stunning excursion into the brutal realities of life for manual labourers across the world. Witness is airing another film from this work entitled Heroes. 

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