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301 Ratings

Workingman's Death

Directed by Michael Glawogger
Germany, Austria, 2005


Workingman’s Death follows the trail of the HEROES in the illegal mines of the Ukraine, sniffs out GHOSTS among the sulfur workers in Indonesia, finds itself face to face with LIONS at a slaughterhouse in Nigeria, mingles with BROTHERS as they cut a huge oil tanker into pieces in Pakistan…

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Workingman's Death Directed by Michael Glawogger
Exquisitely photographed, its incongruent beauty collides with the drudgery (and horror) of subsistence living and proves that you can reach the viewer with collective subjects. The resilience of these workers in the face of the harshest realities has the power not only to move you but also to earn your respect.
September 28, 2015
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There’s a confrontational quality to these images… but there’s also a sense that Glawogger’s real concentration here is the Kubrickian framing and the quasi-sci-fi scenery. Even still, the sentiment expressed in the images is unmistakable. This bombardment of stylized portraiture segues right into flowing Steadicam shots gazing up at worker statues, which only reinforce the underlying reverence beneath Glawogger’s aestheticism.
June 16, 2014
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For me, many of these ideas that I glean from Glawogger’s film take a backseat, at least while I’m watching the film, to its purely aesthetic pleasures, some of which we both have touched on in our initial responses. This leads me to perhaps the issue that most interests me personally about not just Workingman’s Death but nonfiction films like it that try to go for something more than the standard informational bent, that try to turn human experience… into something more overtly aestheticized.
June 16, 2014
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