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.
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.