Screening Room: Machines
Rahul Jain, Director, Machines (via Skype)
Dr Ruth Kattumuri, Co-Director, India Observatory, London School of Economics and Political Science
Clare Lissaman, Ethical Trade Consultant; Director, Common Objective; Co-Founder, Arthur & Henry
Chair: Dr Champa Patel, Head of Asia Programme, Chatham House
India is one of the world’s major emerging powers. It has seen unprecedented economic growth alongside large-scale industrialization and development of a cutting edge technology and software sector. Yet despite these significant advances, at least 1 in 5 of India’s population still live below their own government’s defined poverty line.
Machines, winner of the Sundance Award for Cinematography, offers an insight into the life of workers in a textile factory in Gujarat, India. It details the intense toil, physical labour, and suffering that these individuals endure to produce garments for the international market. The documentary raises difficult issues of inequality, oppression and the dark-side of capitalism, asking the viewer to question their own role in this cycle of globalised supply and demand for consumer goods.
The screening will be followed a Q&A discussion, placing some of the themes raised by the documentary into a wider conversation looking at the rights of the worker, the human cost of mass production and the need for better regulation of these industries worldwide.
Running time: 75 mins