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Produced by Storyline Entertainment Inc. in co-production with The National Film Board of Canada in Association with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation – The Nature of Things, National Geographic Channel International, with the Support of the Government of Canada Through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and with the Participation of Canadian Television Fund - created by the Government of Canada and the Canadian Cable Industry – CTF: Licence Fee Program, Knowledge Network, National Geographic Channel (Canada) and Rogers Documentary Fund.
© 2005 1571251 Ontario Inc./National Film Board of Canada
High tide on the Arabian Sea: an aging tanker rushes toward a sandy shore at full steam. There it joins other beached mountains of steel to be taken apart by barefoot men with blowtorches. It may be the world's most dangerous job with flying five-ton slabs of metal, drops from precarious perches, and explosions of flammable gas endangering the workers.
Welcome to the ship breaking yards of Alang, India, where the world's oceangoing ships come to die. Tens of thousands of Indians live and work here, systematically dismembering, by hand, the hulks of hundreds of vessels every year, piece by piece.
Shipbreakers is a visually stunning portrait of this vast maritime graveyard. It follows the daily lives of workers and owners who will spend months toiling from sunup to sundown to methodically destroy enormous vessels with little more than acetylene torches and back breaking effort.
The shipbreakers come from villages throughout India risking life and limb to dismember the largest moving objects on the planet. They live beside the shipyards, sometimes for years at a stretch, eating, sleeping and socializing in a shantytown that exists solely to supply feed to this incredible enterprise.
The owners worry about schedules and making a profit - margins are slim - and the investors have several million dollars at stake. The government worries about the industry's profile in the world press, health and safety of the workers in the yards and keeping the economy going.
Shipbreakers is an international story of human tenacity, Third World labor and geopolitics unfolding on the shores of India.
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