AGE OF IRON
In 2004 the producers created the feature documentary Shipbreakers; an international story of greed, survival, geopolitics and an unfolding environmental disaster on the shores of India. After the film’s premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival, it went on to win several awards and a successful life on television and at international film festivals.
When we were filming along the coast of India’s Arabian Sea, everyone was overwhelmed by the location and the situation. In a place where the workers’ motto is “A Ship a Day, a Death a Day”, we were fascinated and repulsed by the stunning visuals of ships in various state of demolition and the men that were breaking them down by hand like ants crawling over giant dead bodies.
Aurally it was impressive as well. The hissing of blowtorches, the shouting of men, the rhythmic beating of hammers on steel, the sound of heavy machinery, the clanking of acetylene tanks hauled on deck and pieces of metal knocking each other, gave the place a life of its own. It was all very apocalyptic and there was no other place like it on earth. In the midst of this we met two young orphans fending for themselves.
The filmmakers were reminded of this during post production. As the documentary was narrative driven, there was an awful lot of beautiful footage that did not get used and we wondered what it would be like to put together a film of just visuals and sound. Age of Iron is driven by the vocals of Kiran Ahluwalia and music composed by Ken Myhr and features stunning cinematography which earned Derek Rogers a Gemini Award for best cinematography.
Age of Iron is a four and half minute non-narrative visual treat about growing up in extra-ordinary circumstances in the world’s shipbreaking capital, the shanty town of Alang, India. It is also a dirge for the dying ships and a tribute to the men who risk life and limb to scratch out a meagre living.
Air Canada in-flight screenings (Nov-Dec 2009)
Bickford Park Short Film Evening, Toronto (Sep 2009)
Tehran International Short Film Festival (Nov 2008)
EcoVision Festival (Palermo, Italy, June 2008)