Visually spectacular portrait of the Hukumchand jute mills in West Bengal. With pure poetry in every shot, we see the brimming factory in action and meet the workers. From the young woman dreaming of becoming a movie heroine, to the serene man who has worked there for almost six decades.
Once part of a thriving industry, now the West Bengali Hukumchand jute factory is at its last legs. The machinery is a century old, and also the rest of the working process has not changed much since the industrial revolution. State aid kept this sustainable alternative to plastic going. But now, its future looks bleak.
In beautifully composed shots, Nishtha Jain (Gulabi Gang, Lakshmi and Me) follows the entire production chain, from cutting the reed along the river to weaving in the gigantic mill. In between we meet the workers on their lunch breaks. A flamboyant man is a singer at night. An older man works as a healer on the side and smokes ganja to keep him going. Young people, some still children, discuss ways to earn more money, maybe in the army. Meanwhile, the union tries uniting the workers to raise the minimum wage.