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Iron Crows


Chittagong is a small port city of southern Bangladesh. Everyday some 20,000 people there risk their lives for an average wage of $2 a day. They dismantle old ships from all over the world. On average, 20 workers die each year. Despite the harsh working environment full of contaminants and toxic gases, these ships are considered as gifts from God.
A 21 year old Belal who left home 10 years ago, a master gascutter Rufik who worked in Chittagong for 32 years and a 12 year young child laborer Ekramul tell the heart-breaking story of their lives, accompanied by breathtaking views of the ship yards.


  • Bong-Nam Park made a portrait of the workers of the world's largest ship demolition factory in Bangladesh. Just like in Last Train Home, the distance between work and native village propels the narrative forward: parents and children are living apart for economical reasons, what leads to heart-breaking scenes. There is a difference in style: Director Park eschew effects to build up the emotions and when tears are flowing the camera zooms in.
  • "The powerful visual images of this film are extraordinary. It immerse the audience in the lives of what Frantz Fanon called 'The Wretched of the Earth'. This film accomplishes something very rare and unique. In vivid and harsh reality the audience can almost smell the burning of oil, the fluidity of dirty mud. The constant and very real danger and fear of the workers makes you cringe. Against this endless and devastating background the film narrates the story of our heroes, and heroes they are, pushed from the urgency of extreme poverty to continuosly risk their lives to support their famalies on less than 2 UDS a day. Perhaps the most important achievement of this powerful film is the courage, dignity and humilty of our heroes trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of crushing poverty. This film is a tour de force!"
    -IDFA 2009 Jury’s comment-

Festival Participation

  • International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
    Best Mid-Length Documentary
  • Moscow International Film Festival
  • SXSW
  • Film Forum, New York
  • One World International Film Festival

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