Ship breaking, or scrapping, is a dangerous business with severe health and environmental hazards. As a result, the industry now resides almost exclusively in developing countries, notably in India and Pakistan where risks of personal injury lawsuits and workers’ health claims are virtually absent. Like water wearing away rock, a sea of men and boys, armed only with rudimentary tools, swarms the derelict hulls and decks and engine rooms and slowly they break down beached leviathan tankers and cargo chips. In the course of their work, the laborers separate and identify any parts and pieces that may have resale value. This short, direct cinematic piece provides a fascinating glimpse of a harrowing enterprise.
- Vaughan Pilikian