Ratik Asokan at Artforum:
What is it like to work in an Indian factory? Three documentaries (all currently streaming for free) begin to answer this troubling question. Anjali Monteiro and KP Jayasankar’s Saacha: The Loom (2001) is an elegy for Mumbai’s shuttered cotton mills woven around the lives of two men, a poet and a painter. Rahul Roy’s The Factory (2015) chronicles a landmark 2012–15 strike at an automobile factory near New Delhi. Rahul Jain’s Machines (2016) unfolds amid the sordid interiors of a textile sweatshop in Gujarat. As with Chinese activist cinema, these are for the most part works of witness, recording struggles and injustices that politicians and the mainstream media ignores. Together, they offer a tracking shot of India’s landscape of labor. The picture that emerges is disquieting and frequently shocking.