FIRST SHOW

India Today - - LEISURE -

MA­CHINES

Debu­tant di­rec­tor Rahul Jain’s Su­rat fac­tory doc­u­men­tary, Ma­chines, earned a spe­cial jury award for ex­cel­lence in cin­e­matog­ra­phy at the Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val. Jain’s film de­picts night­mar­ish work­ing con­di­tions—rou­tine for In­dia—at a fab­ric fac­tory in Su­rat. A western re­viewer de­scribed it as “a claus­tro­pho­bic, haunt­ing vi­sion of the kind of grim work­place tra­di­tion­ally as­so­ci­ated with the UK of the Vic­to­rian era”. Work­ers speak of low wages, long hours in swel­ter­ing heat, and trav­el­ling 1,600 kilo­me­tres for a chance at a job, where at­tempts to unionise wind up get­ting labour lead­ers killed. Not the sort of ‘Make in In­dia’ the prime min­is­ter had in mind.

TOKYO TRIAL

Ir­rfan Khan ap­pears in the Net­flix mini-se­ries Tokyo Trial, an op­u­lently pro­duced if ul­ti­mately shifty docu­d­rama on the War Crimes process in Ja­pan af­ter WW II. The fact it was com­mis­sioned by the Ja­panese NHK net­work may ac­count for some of its moral am­bi­gu­ity. How­ever, like Ama­zon Prime’s alt his­tory show, The Man in the High Cas­tle, the best thing about it may be its eerie open­ing se­quence.

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