Year: 2016

Type: Documentary film (75 minutes, Hindi with Engish subtitles)

Director: Rahul Jain

Cinematographer: Rodrigo Trejo Villanueva

Production company: Jann Pictures, Pallas Film, IV Films

Availability: Trailer (YouTube embedded below + Vimeo) and screenings (film website)

Translation: this page is also available in Finnish, here.

Page reference: Skye Jeffries, A. (2017) Machines. ( last accessed <insert date here>)




Since the 1960s the area of Sachin in western India has undergone unprecedented, unregulated industrialisation, exemplified in its numerous textile factories. MACHINES portraits only one of these factories, while at the same time representing the thousands of labourers working, living and suffering in an environment they can't escape without unity (Source: Anon 2016a np link ).

Machines [is a] gliding, quietly mesmerising documentary portrait of working rituals and conditions at a textile factory in the Gujarat state (Source: Lodge 2016 np link).

A nightmarishly beautiful documentary (Source: Johnston 2017 np link).

… a journey of both beauty and anguish (Source: Estebanez 2017 np link).

... a vivid, harrowing and socially significant documentary (Source: Bedingfield 2017 np link).

… a hushed, graceful study of machinery in motion, gazing lingeringly at the chomping metal jaws and sliding mechanical limbs of sundry presses, printers and mills to almost hypnotic effect (Source: Lodge 2016 np link).

… a dignifying hymn to the common worker (Source: Rose 2017 np link).

Poetic, sonically disorientating and bleak … [it] takes us inside an Indian fabrics factory where the workers labour for 12 hours a shift for nuppence (Source: Anon 2017a  36).

… cloth in motion turns viscous, like can-sprayed whipped cream. Glowing white, linen appears to spew from veins in the factory walls. Add to this that the interiors are dark and steamy – cave-like – and flooded with lakes of black water, and the overriding impression is that the workshop lies three miles beneath the earth, not at ground-level, in a modest-sized Indian city named Sachin (Source: Bedingfield 2017 np link).

…dazzling, colorful fabrics are manufactured by people moving back and forth, climbing and crawling, pushing and shoving. Sometimes, they all seem to blend together: the bolts and the muscles, the sweat and the huge flames from the furnaces. But when the camera delves deep into this claustrophobic labyrinth, exposing the factory’s hidden depths, the production process suddenly seems to take on a human form and voice (Source: Anon 2017b np link).

There is surprising beauty to be found in these factories, where the smoke, the dark, and the colours blend into a hypnotic rhythm, almost like a lullaby (Source: Juutinen 2016 np link).

There is a mesmerising beauty to the materials being woven through the various machines, carrying with them an elegance and colour that stand out vividly from the monotonous greys and blacks of the building’s walls (Source: Estebanez 2017 np link).

It’s a philosophically sensorial enquiry into the meaning of labour in an Indian textile sweatshop (Source: Jain, R. 2017a np link).

It lays bare the kind of routine, semi-skilled labour that has been automated and outsourced by richer countries (Source: Bedingfield 2017 np link).

It … peers inside an Indian textile factory to show the squalor that lies behind the creation of gorgeous fabrics, and the people who create them under such conditions (Source: Kenigsberg 2017 46).

They are all male migrants – no women feature in the documentary – who need to leave their villages and farms to survive (Source: Mezzadri 2017a np link).

With rare access to the guarded world of sweatshops, Rahul Jain brings us into one of the thousands of textile mills in heavily industrialized Sachin, India (Source: Anon 2017c  np link).

In this vision of industrial insanity humans have become minuscule cogs in the vast machines they serve, day and night. While the whirring, repetitive images and clanking of metal recall Metropolis, this is a present-day documentary set in a textile-dyeing factory in Gujarat in India. Miles of colourful fabric are printed every day by hundreds of men and boys (Source: Muir 2017 np link)

… the workers … spend 12 hour shifts earning the equivalent of $3 a day (Source: Hans 2017 np link). 

Mechanical spectacle and human pain make surprisingly complementary subjects (Source: Lodge 2016 np link).

We watch as dyes are mixed, cloth is created and the men make sure it all runs smoothly. The sounds are that of the machines constantly running and clanking along in a steady rhythm (Source: Kopian 2017 np link).

In the darkness, amidst the clanging and the banging, people and machines press patterns into seemingly never-ending rolls of fabric (Source: Juutinen 2016 np link).

In a closed, hot, sweltering, world, two kinds of creatures coexist: Enormous machines that squeak, knock, and squeal, and alongside them, tiny dot-like nano-machines  - the workers (Source: Anon 2017b np link).

Human ‘machines’ silently tend the mechanical ones - stoking their fiery throats, oiling their antediluvian limbs, feeding endless rivers of pure white or brightly coloured fabric through their roaring rollers, heaving vats of the dark and poisonous dye or the giant bales of intricately patterned voile into which the dye miraculously transforms (Source: Banerji 2017 np link).

It is not always obvious what the men do and how their manual work contributes to the entire process (Source: Saunders, 2017 np link).

… it becomes difficult to say where the human being ends and the machine begins (Source: Juutinen 2016 np link).

The title is well chosen. The bodies of the workers look naked and vulnerable, and yet they have become part of the machines, part of the process (Source: Bradshaw 2017 np link).

What outwardly seems like the most prosaic of titles turns out to be bristling with angry human-rights subtext (Source: Lodge 2016 np link).

If the repetition renders the job boring, the hours make it back-breaking (the day shift runs from 8.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. and some workers follow it with a second shift from 9.00 p.m.). Covering all this without the film itself becoming a wretched experience is a challenge, but Jain aided by the magnificent Mexican photographer Rodrigo Trejo Villanueva brings it off superbly (Source: Simpson 2017 np link).

The dimly lit, maze-like construction of the factory … is captured with exquisite but nonetheless paradoxical tranquillity (Source: Estebanez 2017 np link).

More often than not the camera seems to be on the prowl moving, shifting, observing, trying to get a better vantage point (Source: Kopian 2017 np link).

Jain’s camera smooth but free as it travels the factory’s bowels and observes its balletic processes (Source: Hans 2017 np link).

There are long-held shots in which the camera glides all around the vast factory floor, showing exhausted workers asleep on the bundles of textiles they've been so busy producing and sudden explosions of colour (Source: Macnab 2017 np link).

Occasionally you feel claustrophobic, at other times incarcerated within each frame (Source: Patel 2017 np link).

The camera makes us look closely, and the sound design clues us into the constantly clicking, squeaking, and churning of these monstrous machines, which require an inane task from one or two people, for hours on end (Source: Allen 2017 np link).

The relentless rhythms of the work are captured. It looks soul-destroying (Source: Bradshaw 2017 np link).

Jain uses no music, but the atmosphere is potent with the textiles themselves providing the only ray of colour in a grim world (Source: Simpson 2017 np link).

Workers’ bodies – always on the move like well-behaved, docile bees building their hive – are the heart, soul and sound of Jain’s factory. They create the soundtrack of labouring, which merges with the steady rhythmic pace of the machines, and that of cloth endlessly pouring from the press (Source: Mezzadri 2017a np link).

Rahul Jain eschews written information in favour of mesmerising images: the film is iridescent with chemicals, dyes, fabrics, burning plastic and toxic sludge. The screen itself feels carcinogenic (Source: Koshy 2017 np link).

The real power in this documentary film was that there were no voiceovers, no commentary, no music, or anything added (Source: Hurme 2017 np link).

Jain allows his audience to be part of the action without ever making a personal commentary on the action talking place (Source: Marric 2017 np link).

Jain doesn't editorialise or include … commentary pointing out the injustice of it all or explaining just where and how all those garments westerners wear are made. Even so, the film has a quietly devastating charge (Source: Macnab 2017 np link).

Sweating profusely, suffering through punishing shifts and often forced to engage directly with moving industrial parts, these men are living a daily horror movie and with scant reward when the time bell rings at the end of the day (Source: Jenkins 2017 np link).

[The film] begins by showing workers covering their faces sparks fly from the furnaces, and navigating the labyrinths of the cracked concrete factory, burdened with exhaustion, boredom and often huge vat of dye or a bale of cloth (Source: Muir 2017 np link).

Besides a foreman telling his men to stand straight for the camera, the first fifteen minutes are devoid of words. And yet it’s as though we’re hearing a story unfold nonetheless. One of struggle, perseverance, and ultimately despair (Source: Mobarak 2017 np link).

Teenage boys climb inside the steel drums of washing machines to haul out the heavy, wet bales of cloth (Source: Muir 2017 np link).

Employees, reams of cloth under their arms, dive from steel containers, which clatter and shake like boiled teapots (Source: Bedingfield 2017 np link).

Two men are shown as they combine pigment and base with the effortlessly timed motion of a spoon - a system seemingly so arbitrary and yet resulting in a consistency that rivals a Pantone construction (Source: Mobarak 2017 np link).

Jain reminds us that the grace and dexterity of human hands is needed to operate the factory apparatus, to ensure dye doesn’t drip and fabric doesn’t catch. Men and boys methodically stir enormous vats of toxic chemicals (no gloves or masks) and hand-whisk orange dye with the precision of pastry chefs (Source: Hans 2017 np link).

Vats of deep-hued colours are wrestled into position, fabric is cut and dyed, patterns are printed, material is guided through rollers by hand and body-like bundles are dumped into wheeled bins with a jarring thud (Source: Patel 2017 np link).

One worker spoons and taps dye into a pot. Another pulls a lever every couple of seconds. Another monitors an assembly line. Repeat these tasks for 8 to 12 hours. For a lifetime (Source: Bedingfield 2017 np link).

Clashing, creaking, clammering, slashing, smashing, spraying, sparking, popping. None of the workers wear earplugs or head protection; nor do most wear gloves or protective gear for their arms, legs, or eyes (Source: Malin 2017 np link).

Workers use headphones and play loud music to lock out the sound (of the machines), but that actually causes more damage ... Their lungs are damaged as they breathe fine silica dust, also very fine carbon particles (Source: Jain in Reuters 2017 np link).

The workers eat and sleep within its walls, and bathe themselves with a hose to wash off the clothing dyes they mix by hand in small pots, or pestle between their palms and fingers  (Source: Bedingfield 2017 np link).

[Workers] wash themselves in steam escaping from machines and wear plastic bags to protect them from the tropical rain (Source Anon 2017d  np link).

Waste is poured over the wall at the back of the factor, where children scavenge for discarded metal (Source: Jenkins 2017 np link).

Health and safety concerns are non-existent. There is little sign of proper sanitation in [the] soggy, squalid factory … creating acres of the most beautiful fabrics (Source: Hunter 2016 np link ).

[The] veritable waterfalls of vibrantly colored fabrics, piling and rippling like whipped cream, [are] almost offensively pretty against the otherwise gray, moldering surrounds of the workplace (Source: Lodge 2016 np link).

[One scene shows] a rush of red fabric falling in front of a man’s gaze toward us, looking and sounding like a waterfall (Source: Allen 2017 np link).

An exception to these grim dark images from the factory’s bowels are shots [at the end of the film], silent and in slow motion, of a number of men on a rooftop, wrapped in colourful fabrics and throwing these up to wave in the wind. It provides them everything they do not have ‘downstairs’: colour, grace, light, dignity (Source: Saunders, 2017 np link).

There [are] no questions posed from behind the camera, allowing the words spoken by the workers to resonate clearly in our minds (Source: Sheehan 2017 np link).

None of the interviewees is named on-screen: a reflection, perhaps, of their dehumanized place in the machine (Source: Lodge 2016 np link).

Often these men of various ages are shown doing something repetitive on machinery that looks extremely dangerous and doesn't favor the clumsy (a dehumanizing trait itself) (Source: Allen 2017 np link).

Their expressionless faces convey a mix of resignation and stoicism (Source: Patel 2017 np link).

When the workers do eventually speak (directly to the camera, in most cases), they give voice to their disillusionment in poetic diatribes on their horrific workplace and its $3-per-shift wages (Source: Malin 2017 np link).

A $3 payment for the half day slog is meant to pay for their food, rent and if they have one, feed their families. The paltry returns mean that after some food and a brief rest, many are back to work a short while later to undertake another gruelling 12 hours. As we see, some do not even leave the factory, simply passing out in a corner on one of many giant spools of material, where the whirring mechanics sound less intrusive (Source: Sheehan 2017 np link).

‘God gave us hands, so we have to work,’ explains one of the film’s many unnamed workers (Source: Hans 2017 np link).

A young boy – of roughly GCSE age [15-16] – describes how every day when he arrives at the factory gates his gut tells him to turn around and run away. But he has no choice but to go in to start his 12-hour shift ... He has swallowed the line he’s been fed that by starting young he’ll learn valuable skills. Yet the adults reveal that this is no life to aspire to. It is a life that they have no choice but to accept due to their poverty (Source: Banerji 2017 np link).

Half way through [the film] … we focus on a boy working on an assembly line. He is desperately tired: every few seconds his eyes close and his body sways with sleep. We worry that he might succumb and fall onto the conveyor belt, but each time he almost does he holds on to a piece of machinery and steadies himself. He looks at the camera with eyes spared of any legible emotion, giving us a sense of the vast, churning system that keeps him in place, sleepwalking between life and death (Source: Koshy 2017 np link).

One boy is lingered upon for minutes, his eyes initially converging into slits as though he’s feeling the fabric move between his hands without letting sight distract him before we realize he’s falling asleep. His head bobs and then jerks back up, not even a hint of embarrassment on his face when looking at the camera before doing it again (Source: Mobarak 2017 np link).

An adult chews tobacco in his moments off, the only small luxury he can afford (Source: Macnab 2017 np link).

‘There are no other options,’ a worker tells Jain. ‘Poverty is harassment. There is no cure.’ The worker also insists that it is not exploitation. The inclusion of a villainous, pencil-pushing fat cat boss suggests otherwise (Source: Hans 2017 np link).

‘Exploitation would mean I’m being forced to work here,’ notes one worker tersely, after outlining his nightmarish work schedule of 12-hour shifts. The difference between slavery and accepting the only means of income available to these men - many of them economically disabled former farmers - is critically established, even if the pride in it is marginal (Source: Lodge 2016 np link).

These men must take out loans simply to make the journey from their hometowns to the factory - a distance of 1600km, or 48 hours with no food or water, one worker recounts. This debt effectively renders them slaves, though the workers are keen to assert their autonomy. They see it more as gross exploitation, an outcome of having no unions. As one notes, they are like ‘like sheep instead of tigers’. The factory bosses, who apparently murder any potential union leaders, are sociopathic and toadish; bejewelled gangsters, who spy on their employees through closed-circuit television (Source: Bedingfield 2017 np link).

[One worker] takes comfort in the fact that we all leave this planet with nothing. Even the rich people (Source: Patel 2017 np link).

Managers are nowhere to be seen until a smug boss informs us that the appalling system continues because ‘Indians can be motivated only in terms of salary’ (Source Anon 2017d  np link).

The factory owner … is vile to the point of parody, playing ostentatiously with his over-sized mobile phone and surveying his workforce through CCTV. He has no qualms about letting a film-maker onto his property, presumably because he doesn't see his workers as fully human. ‘If I pay these illiterate folk too much and their stomach is no longer empty, then they won't care about the company,’ he reasons (Source: Koshy 2017 np link).

[The] utterly heartless factory boss says that paying someone more than the bare minimum encourages laziness (Source: Bradshaw 2017 np link).

[He] brags about how much more loyal and hungry his workers were a few years ago when they used to earn ten times less than they do now (Source: Patel 2017 np link).

[Workers are] both resilient and fatalistic, half-resigned to their own exploitation. They want to fight back but are very aware of what it might cost them and their families (Source: Macnab 2017 np link).

The workers … dream of unionising and 8-hour work days. But is it possible to find the courage to stand up and demand change, when doing so might not only cost you your livelihood, but also your life? (Source: Juutinen 2016 np link).

If they do try to form unions they face intimidation from their bosses (Source: Macnab 2017 np link).

… attempts to unionise wind up getting labour leaders killed (Source: Anon 2017e np).

[Towards the end of the film, the] Completed product is glimpsed in a chilling sequence where buyers haggle over the price of the cheaply produced goods, only to be smugly informed that the fabric is better than that from Korea (Source Anon 2017d  np link).

In a startling finale the men’s testimony shifts from calm sufferance to something more piercing and accusatory in tone: the difference, in effect, between rhetorically shrugging, ‘What are ya gonna do?’ and sincerely asking, ‘What are you gonna do?’ The tables are turned on the filmmaker - one worker even meeting Jain’s probing lens with a camera phone of his own - as his subjects enquire as to the purpose of his film. ‘What are you directing here?’ someone asks, reasonably enough, before launching into an impassioned criticism of previous outside observers who ‘just come here, look at our problems, and leave’ (Source: Lodge 2016 np link).

‘Do you want to save us? Then tell us what to do and we will.’ Their situation’s futility is unavoidable (Source: Mobarak 2017 np link).

… the unseen Jain is directly questioned by an interviewee, who forcefully questions the director's intentions and damningly compares him with hand-wringing but ineffectual politicians (Source: Young 2016 np link).

‘People just come here, look at our problems and leave … Why have you come here, tell us honestly? You will leave after listening to us, just like the ministers do’ (Source: Anon in Koshy 2017 np link).

This is only one such factory but as the camera pans out to reveal near the end, it is representative of the many that exist across the world (Source: Sheehan 2017 np link).

Inspiration / Process / Technique / Methodology

Gujarat, India’s most westerly state, is a textiles powerhouse. Giant textile factories in the single city of Surat produce 30m metres of man-made fibre every day (most tights will come from here). But the ‘power’ is provided by workers (near to one million in this state alone) who toil in conditions described by filmmaker Rahul Jain as ‘extreme wretchedness’ (Source: Siegle 2017 np link).

The documentary's notes tell us that 12.6 million children are engaged in child labour in the country; that the Indian textile industry is worth 40 billion dollars, providing goods for a domestic and global market; and that 95 percent of the factories in the region have no trade unions on their premises. But none of this is directly conveyed on screen (Source: Koshy 2017 np link).

When droughts are putting farmers in debt around the country, they must pay to travel upwards of thirty-six hours to industrial parks like this Gujarat-set chemical and dye factory to earn their three American dollars per twelve-hour shift wage (Source: Mobarak 2017 np link).

The question that hounds you is how first-time director Jain gained access to this rung of hell - maybe the exploitation seems so normal to the factory owners that they saw no reason to hide it (Source: Anon 2017a  36).

I was failing in all my classes in film school in my second year and I needed to make something to pass my classes and I realised err that in the united states where I was going to film school I didn’t really have anything to say politically or aesthetically. I didn’t identify as being an American citizen or somebody there and I needed to go back to where I felt like I had something to say. And this was around 2013 where in Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza there was a big collapse and many people lost their lives because of incredibly compromised infrastructures, this factory system (Source: Jain, R. 2017b np link).

I used all my personal savings to fund the film until it was presentable at a Work-in-Progress Lab in Goa. That’s where I met my two co-producers, one from Finland and one from Germany, who were able to raise post-production funds for the film (Source: Jain in Crimmins 2017 np link).

My mentor, Thom Andersen, used to say film students should be making work about what they know. Thus, I was convinced I needed to go to a factory I used to visit as a young boy (Source: Jain in Crimmins 2017 np link).

I made the film almost to understand my curiosities and to figure out the things that I grew up confused about (Source: Jain in Anderson-Moore 2017 np link).

His honesty as a filmmaker was refreshing, particularly when admitting that he made this film because he wanted to … and nothing more. As Jain explained, it's in our nature to seek quick answers to questions. In reality, ‘there is no black and white,’ as he put it, ‘just this long spectrum of grey’ (Source: Patel 2017 np link).

When you’re questioning from a young age about how the world can be the way it is, when you actually articulate in your own head and to others around you as a child ‘How can this bottle of wine be worth as much as the salary of the man who just drove us here?’ and when nobody can give you satisfying answers to those simple questions, that is the kind of worldview that inspired the film (Source: Jain in Crimmins 2017 np link).

I still don’t fully understand the implications of releasing a film like Machines in the outside world. My desire was to say something I had felt my whole life. Maybe I wasn’t questioning my privilege all the time, but there was guilt there that needed to be faced (Source: Jain in Crimmins 2017 np link).

People think the distance between the classes is two millimeters. They think it’s close, but it’s millions of miles. I was trying to shorten this distance (Source: Jain in Wise 2016 np link).

The film … exposes … the huge divide between first world and developing countries (Source: Murthi 2016 np link).

Machines provides a glimpse into an imbalanced world that Jain was exposed to as a child (Source: Crimmins 2017 np link).

Jain, whose maternal grandfather owned a textiles factory, was drawn to capture the dehumanising supply chain of the fashion industry (Source: Siegle 2017 np link).

When I was young, a very young child… I used to get to spend my summer there [in the factory] (Source: Jain in Wise 2016 np link).

Distant family connections enabled Jain the opportunity to film without restriction in the factory, capturing a devastating picture of life below the poverty line (Source: Sheehan 2017 np link).

… he thought it was an environment he understood. However, what he remembered as a child in his grandfather's Surat factory turned out to be very different from what he experienced filming inside one as a grown man (Source: Anderson-Moore 2017 np link).

I think ‘Machines’ is quite an apt title also because it was the machines in the beginning that took me back to this factory. The childhood experiences that I had, my mind always thought of the machines and not the humans. When I went back again, it was the humans that I saw more. This time, they had taken the role of the machines (Source: Jain in Wise 2016 np link).

First-time feature director Rahul Jain spent two months observing in the factory before beginning to shoot. In all, he and his cinematographer Rodrigo Trejo Villanueva kept rolling for six months, patiently waiting for the right composition and for beauty to reveal itself amid all the drudgery and hardship. (Source: Patel 2017 np link).

There was suspicion in the beginning, but for a long time I decided not to take the camera with me to the location and just observe - to force my mind to think of ways to see this (Source: Jain in Wise 2016 np link).

As soon as you enter this environment, there are many conflicting feelings, but the first primary one is of extreme wretchedness. The factory smelled like an absolute vat of ammonia, the chemical. I’m serious. It was my sincere desire, in many ways, to bring ammonia to the screen, so that people can really feel the stench while they’re watching this (Source: Jain in Wise 2016 np link).

Ammonia is used heavily in the manufacture of man-made fibres and in the processing of conventional cotton (Source: Siegle 2017 np link).

It's a huge camera, and people were very much in shock at the beginning. ‘What is this device?’ But for the first two months, we were in the factory without a camera. We were just observing, taking notes, talking to people. (Source: Jain in Anderson-Moore 2017 np link).

But in terms of shooting, once we brought in the camera, it took a long time. You habituate [your subjects] to the presence of the camera. Over time, we conveyed to them that we're doing something without interrupting what they were doing. We said we were very curious (Source: Jain in Anderson-Moore 2017 np link).

There were many experiments. I am more of a frenetic person, and my energy was going everywhere when we would start shooting. Rodrigo had the calm and patience to go, ‘Dude, this is your relative's factory. You can do whatever you want. Just calm down. Just take it easy. Let's film everything properly.’ For [my part], I was thinking, ‘Non-fiction is always happening around me. I'm missing everything! I'm missing these gems!’ (Source: Jain in Anderson-Moore 2017 np link).

The camera…works at macro and micro levels, closing in on a wealth of expressive and reactive human detail, but also standing back to marvel at the functionality of the system (Source: Lodge 2016 np link).

Villanueva’s Sundance award-winning cinematography is glorious as his camera puts us into the process as voyeur: soaring down walkways, ducking beneath sheaths of fabric, and following from the ground behind heavy carts wheeled to who knows where as the pops and crackles of industry pulse in our ears (Source: Mobarak 2017 np link).

…the Steadicam used by Villanueva … coupled with the intimate focus on the real perpetrator of the situation – the fabric – offers a more placid counterpoint to the mechanical and unforgiving factory space  (Source: Estebanez 2017 np link).

I was definitely trying to play with elements of claustrophobia that the people in this factory feel. … Looking at one image for a long time definitely gives you a sense of closed space, especially when the images are static (Source: Jain in Wise 2016 np link).

Villanueva distributes the camera throughout the factory, dragging it on the basin of a soapy bucket or stacking it high above an endless pile of white sheets. In a recurring motif, we see from behind light cloth onto a workworn face … Equally stirring are his frontal medium-long shots of the workers themselves, who Jain cultivates with an ironic sense of their appeals: his interview subjects are all smart, good-looking, healthy, and angry. Thanks to the hard fluorescent lighting in their conversations and Villanueva’s softly mobile camera, we absorb some of their pain (Source: Malin 2017 np link).

The experiences of filming don't leave you once you're out. You can be objective while you're behind the camera, but when you're editing, you need to really empathize, to understand what it means in the whole equation of the film. When you're editing, it affects you more. For me, editing was much more depressing than the shooting. With editing, you have to liquidate your perception of time. It's a very slow process (Source: Jain in Anderson-Moore 2017 np link).

… there is a real light touch to the editing, which gives Machines its metronomic rhythm and sense of suspension in time (Source: Patel 2017 np link).

My approach was one of compassion, curiosity and friendship. I explained to all my subjects in the very beginning that I was here to stay for the duration of the filming, which was quite a while. I was able to tell my subjects exactly why I was making the film and followed up on my realization that intimacy is a two way street; if we expect it from someone, we must be willing to give it back (Source: Jain in Crimmins 2017 np link).

[Woodward:] Was it difficult not to answer their pleas for advice on changing their situation, or not to chastise the factory owner? Jain:  Of course, when the workers asked me what they should do, a part of my brain was screaming silently all kinds of things. But I didn’t have any answers; I was a silent observer, almost mute, taking refuge behind the viewfinder. Then with the boss, you have to remember that this guy isn’t just one person. His way of looking at things is societal; more than half the world thinks like him. It doesn’t make it right, but to think that you can convert him by some ethereal goodness is a dreamy notion. My goal was just to engage him, while remaining true to myself, in order to invoke honest responses (Source: Woodward 2017 np link).

The intention was never to analyse or find answers. It certainly wasn't to produce a piece of cause marketing or start an impact campaign as some members of the audience were calling for (Source: Patel 2017 np link).

[Woodward:] Does this factory produce textiles for companies worldwide? Jain: Yes, very much so, for all the usual suspects – high street chains. I can’t name them because I don’t have definite proof, but from what the workers told me it was a wide net. And remember, it’s just one factory: there are 1300 factories in the space of four kilometres squared, employing more than a million and a half people (Source: Jain in Woodward 2017 np link).

[Woodward:] Tell me a bit about your decision not to include the names of any people or locations? Jain: This was somewhat for the security of the people, including the boss, but also because there is no point in finger pointing, or singling out one person or place. It’s a complete civilisational structure, a macro-level; I wanted people to think about the bigger picture (Source: Jain in Woodward 2017 np link).

I thought maybe I should work there but you know what I thought working wouldn’t really teach my anything cuz in the back on my mind I would just be able to say I can leave any time I want so I basically tried to film it from my position which is a very privileged Indian film maker and what I am trying to do is make my privilege count you know (Source: Jain, R. 2017a np link).

I wanted the audience to be involved in the dialogue with the workers, rather than acting as the conduit myself (Source: Jain in Woodward 2017 np link).

[Nobody] in that socio-economic class has been filmed before. They've never been photographed. They've never been propelled to a place where somebody would care about making representations of them. For them, it's just all new. They're coming up to me and saying, ‘Who's the hero in this movie? Who's the villain in this movie?’ I say, ‘You're the heroes. I'm the villain.’ It took a while for me to make them understand that this is not a normal movie. Rather, I'm just trying to understand reality, almost like a quest (Source: Jain in Anderson-Moore 2017 np link).

At some point of time I would like to show the film where I shot it and I hope that it can, it can be received with openness because that’s the most difficult thing to do to show it to the subject (Source: Jain, R. 2017b np link).

… for them to be reminded of their own reality in such an aestheticized way can either be so crushing or they could just ignore it like meh, we see this everyday. Show me something new, show me something entertaining (Source: Jain, R. 2017b np link).

We do end up looking away from things which make us uncomfortable, it’s like changing the channel (Source: Jain, R. 2017b np link).

… what can a filmmaker really do? Apart from making people aware of a certain problem, perhaps one answer lies within the formal measures of cinema itself. Jain's main cinematic influence seems to be the experimental work of the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab, who make documentaries that blend anthropology with the visual arts  (Source: Koshy 2017 np link).

Jain is not prepared to make things that easy either for himself or the viewer (Source: Hunter 2016 np link).

With the aesthetic and political dimensions of the film it’s completely correct that this film is not just for somebody in the place of the activist, it’s also for somebody who enjoys films (Source: Jain, R. 2017b np link).

Taking himself out of the equation allows the viewer to fully understand the inner monologue of those suffering in silence and how they reconcile themselves with what is essentially modern-day slavery (Source: Marric 2017 np link).

Discussion / Responses

Rahul Jain’s MACHINES f*cked me up real good (Source: @heavier_things 2017a np link).

Isn’t it great? Perpetual visual motion as a means to access utter social-somatic statis. I found the juxtaposition totally dizzying  (Source: @E_Film_Blog 2017a np link).

Mhmm & the tactility of human skin next to those huge iron machines (Source: @heavier_things 2017b np link).

Absolutely. I was really impressed at the time, but it’s stuck with me too. Hope I get the change to re-watch it in the cinema (Source: @E_Film_Blog 2017b np link).

They truly put you in the factory if they pumped in smells during the screening you'd swear you were in India (Source: Kopian 2017 np link).

It isn’t often that you come across a factual feature film as hard-hittiing (Source: @LondonEconomic 2017 np link).

… if you haven’t watched it go see it. It requires patience, attention and gut (Source: @federicadecaria 2017a np link).

One to recommend/ watch if you’re a conscious consumer (Source: @nublvck 2017 np link).

Go see this film. It will blow your mind (Source: @ashghadiali 2017 np link).

Questions about working conditions, wage gaps, and exploitation, echo throughout the film, which manages to stun all the senses at once (Source: Anon 2017b np link).

Despite the constant motion in this film, it feels eerily calm throughout. Perhaps that is because the wheels keep turning in this place (Source: Patel 2017 np link).

Words are used carefully because images are able to shout loud enough over the rhythmical sound of the machines – your eyes are the camera (Source: @federicadecaria 2017b np link).

This is a movie that immerses the viewer while trying to adapt the tediousness of what it is presenting (Source: Allen 2017 np link).

‘Machines’ quickly asserts itself as a tragedy of dehumanization, of workers who abuse the bodies they use for work, and the figureheads who feel no need to respect them (Source: Allen 2017 np link).

Jain’s decision to utilise long takes elevates the film above being just a political statement about exploitation and the dehumanisation of workers. There is real beauty found amongst the repetitive nature of their routines, as their tired bodily actions move in unison with the rhythms of the machines they are subconsciously connected to (Source: Sheehan 2017 np link).

This movie is more than politics, just as much as it is more than poetry (Source: Allen 2017 np link).

Wow !! Who would have thought that a factory environment can be so dramatic (Source: Tejes Giri 2017 np link).

There’s a post-apocalyptic feel to these scenes, like this is what happens when it everything goes wrong (Source: Jenkins 2017 np link).

The film … sometimes seems more like an art installation of compelling images than an exposé of misery (Source: Muir 2017 np link).

His camera unflinchingly observes the Dickensian working conditions of a giant textile factory in Gujarat, India, watching and speaking with the men who are worked to exhaustion. The further we travel through each level of the dilapidated factory, beyond the grimy mechanics and the dehumanised workers, the harder it becomes to decipher exactly which machines the title is alluding to (Source: Sheehan 2017 np link).

The working conditions of the luckless men and children sweating their lives out for minimal pay in this 21st-century version of dark satanic mills can mean … slaving for 36 to 48 hours non-stop (Source Anon 2017d  np link).

Moving through the corridors and bowels of an enormous and disorientating structure, the camera takes the viewer on a descent down to a dehumanized place of physical labor and intense hardship. This gigantic textile factory in Gujarat, India might just as well be the decorum for a 21st century Dante’s Inferno. In his mind-provoking yet intimate portrayal, director Rahul Jain observes the life of the workers, the suffering and the environment they can hardly escape from. With strong visual language, memorable images and carefully selected interviews of the workers themselves, Jain tells a story of inequality, oppression and the huge divide between rich, poor and the perspectives of both (Source: Anon 2017c np link ).

The film has echoes of Dziga Vertov's famous documentary Man with a Movie Camera, but that showed Soviet production at its finest, whereas Jain's film reveals a hellish enterprise, run by a boss who complains that the ‘sincerity level’ of his workers plummets if they are paid too much and are not close to hunger. Jain mostly lets the pictures speak for themselves, as workers curl up in exhaustion, unnoticed, among the bales of cloth. He interviews a few workers, including those who fear repercussions if they join a union, and young boys who do not see themselves as child labour, but future men learning a trade (Source: Muir 2017 np link).

Not the sort of 'Make in India' the [Indian] prime minister had in mind (Source: Anon 2017e np).

How and where can we watch the full move, why cant i find answer to question anywhere (Source: Pope 2017 np link).

And in india (Source: Jain, S. 2017 np link)?

We are working on a release in India, bear with us :) (Source: Machines 2017 np link).

Seems a shame if Indians themselves aren’t getting to see them, so they just become social cause films Westerns can fetishise caring for (Source: @DeusExCimena 2017a np link).

The risk of condescension through pity is high in this kind of material, but Jain … is loath to deny his subjects any degree of agency in their plight (Source: Lodge 2016 np link).

We are not unaware of the kind of conditions shown here, but Jain's film brings them home to us in a way that makes Machines a necessary and unforgettable film (Source: Simpson 2017 np link).

It is not the first film to strip away the illusion of the comfortable life many of us lead, to reveal the drudgery, brutality and ugliness of cheap labour production that supplies that life. But it is one of the most powerful I have seen. It absolutely made me drop in my tracks (Source: Banerji 2017 np link).

… we must wonder which are the ‘machines’ of the title (Source: Mobarak 2017 np link).

But machines don’t gamble, do they? Or smoke? No, though these men are human beings in the process of wearing themselves to the bone, they are not yet machines (Source: Malin 2017 np link).

… their own bodies are turned into commodities – yet another crucial input of production, like threads and cloth (Source Mezzandri 2017b np link).

Rahul Jain reminds us of the human automation that underpins much of our own capitalist structure (Source: Sheehan 2017 np link).

If the labor is an extension of their actual, physical needs, at what point does a person’s quest for food, shelter, and clothing become completely mechanized - and the social element of a man’s existence get erased? (Source: Malin 2017 np link).

It is the underlying culture, a culture where it is acceptable to turn men and women into machines, that everyone involved in international trade can, and should, challenge (Source: Banerji 2017 np link).

… in labour-intensive manufacturing industries, the body is the first machine used, and also the first machine depleted, and relentlessly so, by the process of production. This is why I enjoyed watching the new documentary by Rahul Jain so much (Source Mezzandri 2017b np link).

This is the kind of work that societies labelled postindustrial have outsourced or automated. It is machinic. It does, as Karl Marx, the most famous critic of the division of labour, put it: ‘mutilate the labourer into a fragment of a man, degrade him to the level of an appendage of a machine’ (Source: Bedingfield 2017 np link).

There is also the problem of defining exploitation: while a lot of the profits come from exports, the majority of patterned textiles themselves are still sold in India. Prick the consciences of India’s middle classes (many of whom are prepared to do the right thing) and they will tell you that to refuse to use these resources simply means that many will lose even these paltry jobs (Source: Palfreyman 2017 np link).

Without laws forbidding such conditions, it isn’t exploitation. It’s life (Source: Mobarak 2017 np link).

It is tragically ironic when one worker's pride causes him to deny that anybody is exploiting him despite the poor pay and the terrible conditions: like others who travel to Gujurat because of the work available there, the free choice that he claims to have exercised is an illusion because in truth the inadequate support provided for him and his family compels him to be there. Unconscious pathos is also to be found when a youngster speaks of the experience he is gaining as being something that will stand him in good stead to work there as an adult (Source: Simpson 2017 np link).

Exhaustion, as well as the constant, inexorable depletion of the labouring body, is a fundamental aspect of factory life for millions of working poor worldwide, even in the absence of major industrial disasters. Rahul Jain’s Machines shows us the restless movements leading to that process of exhaustion; their repetitive sounds, dark colours, and the fading hopes of India’s proletariat (Source Mezzandri 2017b np link).

No doubt the substances they are exposed to are slowly, silently killing them (Source: Koshy 2017 np link).

Workers of the world … get your sh*t together and demand through industrial action living wages and humane working conditions … you have nothing to lose but your poverty and repression … and all to gain especially your dignity and wellbeing (Source: Dimitri 2017 np link).

Of course That’s all easy to say … the problem being that many developing nation workers have no real rights … if they strike they’re out of a job (Source: Dimitri 2017 np link).

the trade unions in India, most often work for Government employees who are well to do and corrupt and thus the trade unions in India are corrupt. There is no choice between unemployment and earning, and Gujarat is an example in India (Source: varadh2u 2017 np link).

these dehumanizing jobs and exploitation can stop with automation and Universal basic income (Source: SweetMamba 2017 np link).

100% agree, but it will also require a reduction in the birthrate, which shows no signs of abating in India. Education, Modernisation, Democracy, Strong Political and Judicial Intitutions and above all Equality for all (Source: Scaiscia 2017 np link).

The world’s primary problem is distributing wealth and opportunity, not the birth rate (Source: Yevaru 2017 np link).

The boss isn’t afraid of letting Jain come in because he knows he isn’t forcing these employees to do anything they don’t want to do. To him he’s providing a service (Source: Mobarak 2017 np link).

Briefly, documentary cinema gives [factory workers] a new status, as subjects rather than objects. What is left is for political struggle to do the same (Source: Koshy 2017 np link).

This is explicitly political film-making, a direct call for unionisation, better pay and reasonable hours rather than a pitying ethnography, even allowing the workers to question Jain’s ability to intervene and help them escape (Source: Hans 2017 np link).

Some accuse the filmmaker of being just like the politicians who turn up, look around and do nothing. It adds a confrontational edge to the film’s already startling combination of immersive aesthetics and humane empathy (Source: Johnston 2017 np link).

That one of the subjects basically accuses Jain of being a guilty liberal is fascinating. John Steinbeck's novel In Dubious Battle shows how and why humans, when treated like expendable machines, fight back (even when threatened with death). The factory's peons could have seemed like sad ghosts. But their calm and collected intelligence is haunting, in a good way (Source Anon 2017a 36).

Unfortunately Jain then simply cuts to the next scene, robbing us of what would surely have been a lively and informative exchange. Then again, the neophyte director presumably trusts in the humanistic power of his art to convey the sincerity and depth of his engagement (Source: Young 2016 np link).

That Jain cannot offer them any answers is, oddly, what is most powerful about ‘Machines’: This simultaneously beautiful and abjectly unhappy film is forced to close by silently admitting its limitations (Source: Lodge 2016 np link).

The only reservation that I have about this film concerns its last few minutes which, less clear-cut than the rest, seem unnecessary: the aerial view preceding this takes us up to see the whole industrial area for the first time and the fact that it establishes this factory as one of many is a summation of all that we have seen and powerful enough to have ended the film (Source: Simpson 2017 np link).

It is not just the garment and textile industry ... go check out the metal casting and utensil making industry which caters primarily to the Indian customers. Then there is the cast iron casting industry added to the auto parts industry ... they are all into exploiting labour. Sadly to keep India competitive in the international market we have no labour laws ... and where we have them, one has to wait for justice till the next birth (Source Chada 2017 np link).

Western consumers demand ever lower retail prices and close their eyes to the social costs of paying less for food and apparel than 30 years ago (Source: Dimitri 2017 np link).

But the well-cut, stylish, durable clothes we now have down on the high-street makes this exploitation worthwhile - at least ‘the consumer’ is being well-served (Source: KorkytheKat 2017 np link).

… it isn’t enough to observe their predicament and walk away (Source: Hunter 2016 np link).

Impacts / Outcomes

[Chioji:] Are you hoping to make change with this movie? I don’t know if films make change but what they do is make you think and if it can make people think then I might be doing something right (Source: in Jain, R. 2017b np link).

[Chioji:] Do you anticipate changes coming to this one factory in a world of factories very similar to this one? Jain: Yeah I don’t think one factory would change, I didn’t make it for one factory to change. I’m kind of trying to highlight a more systemic issue or problem which is actually very visible (Source: in Jain, R. 2017b np link).

Jain said that while Machines was never intended as a piece of activism, he hoped the government would take action to help the textile workers (Source: Reuters 2017 np link).

Rahul Jain does not let the viewer off the hook: while Machines does not dictate what the viewer ought to think or offer ready-made answers to the questions it poses, the sight of a little boy sleeping against the machine he is supposed to operate can’t help but tug at your heartstrings (Source: Juutinen 2016 np link).

Almost everything we see and hear is enough to make your blood boil but the director’s absence from the frame shifts a certain level of responsibility over to the viewer. Rather than seeing it as just another chapter of poverty porn, the challenge lies in how actively we respond … we are left to question our own role in sustaining this systematic betrayal of human liberty (Source: Sheehan 2017 np link).

[Machines] will provoke … important concerns in any viewer: to whom does this Gujarati textile workshop sell its goods? And do my buying habits make me in some way complicit for the standard of the conditions revealed? (Source: Bedingfield 2017 np link).

[There’s] a disconnect that underlines just how vast the chasm between product and producer can be in this industry: Those attractive, compellingly cheap, Asian-manufactured cotton wares that so many of us pick up in western malls feel so far removed from such circumstances as to muffle our ethical concerns about buying them. Jain, who smartly keeps ‘Machines’ free of voiceover or any commentary bar the workers’ statements, keeps that debate entirely tacit (Source: Lodge 2016 np link).

Of course we can implore [factory bosses] to make changes but when money is being made, nothing is really considered. I sound really hopeless. (laughs and pauses uncomfortably). I think if people fully understand the things that they’re buying and how they’re made and they act on that, I think consumers have power. The only people here who can make change are the consumers. They can stop buying things but again if you stop buying things from India thinking that their effects are not good on the environment then many people will go out of jobs too, it’s not a black and white situation. It’s never 50 50. There’s like a big grey line in between (Source: Jain, R. 2017b np link).

How to fix the disparity in different kinds of trades between the first world and the third world? That is rather a difficult question. Err I’m not an economist but to know even where your fabric comes from, how much is the manufacturing price? You’re buying something expensive in a first world shopping experience and we don’t really question those things because we have been conditioned to pay a lot of money for these things … most of these facts are hidden away from the buyers (Source: Jain, R. 2017b np link).

The film … not only manages to wake in its viewers a sense of solidarity towards its subjects, but it also manages to ignite feelings of anger and dismay at the dehumanising conditions they have grown accustomed to at the hands of ruthless factory owners (Source: Marric 2017 np link).

It’s impossible to … leave the film without a concrete answer to that pointed question of the camera - the experience revealing poverty as the real machine. When inequality, hunger, and destitution allow society to stand on the backs of men rather than lend helping hands, we all suffer (Source: Mobarak 2017 np link).

I just can’t help thinking what a difference would even 50 cents more in the price of a garment make. Would those men get hearing protection? Safer working conditions in general? (Source: Hurme 2017 np link).

Jain is doing his bit to support [the factory workers] by showing us his film. Now, what can we - as people who know the textile industry and are committed to ethical trade - do to support workers? (Source: Banerji 2017 np link).

We know the situation, what are we going to do? (Source: Hurme 2017 np link).

‘There are really no answers and we only have questions. We are all moved by forces that are so much out of our control and in this case it’s global capitalism. … It’s very complicated.’ (Source: Jain, R. 2017a np link).

Jain doesn’t point his finger to no one. And we shouldn’t, what’s the point in blaming when we can cooperate? Cooperation is the core idea of Fashion Revolution. It’s a global movement calling for greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry. It is about uniting the fashion industry and changing the way clothes are sourced, produced and purchased (Source: Hurme 2017 np link).

One worker denies that this is exploitation because he has chosen – even got into debt – to come from hundreds of miles away to work here. And is grateful for it. ‘Poverty is harassment,’ he explains. And adds, with the universal fatalism of people who are poor the world over, ‘there is no cure’. But he is wrong. There is a cure. The cure is workers uniting and demanding their internationally agreed rights (even the contractor knows that it is the disunity of the workers – migrants from other impoverished parts of India – that makes them vulnerable). The cure is the government enforcing its laws on child labour, health and safety, working hours and minimum pay. The cure is buyers insisting on decent working conditions from their suppliers and supporting their provision. The cure is consumers making it known loud and clear that yes, they are always happy to find a bargain, but not at the cost of turning men and women into machines.  The best way to do that is to promote and support the cures (Source: Banerji 2017 np link).

In the face of such a powerful film, viewers will line up to offer their sympathies, their pride at having seen such a film, and their praise for the bravery of the filmmakers. Is there anything more mechanized these days than the outrage-to-sympathy cycle? (Source: Malin 2017 np link).

Although Jain did not set out to make a political film, his award-winning feature Machines is attracting international attention for its depiction of the squalor and human suffering underpinning the global garment industry (Source: Reuters 2017 np link).

‘Machines’ … first drew notice winning best documentary at last November’s Goa Film Bazaar Works in Progress Lab. Award was adjudicated by a jury formed by Autlook, German co-producer Thanathos Pallas Film and former YLE commissioning editor and IDFA Forum regular Ikka Vehkalahti. ’We were stunned by the film’s artistic value, which goes to the heart of documentary filmmaking, pairing an astonishing visual and vision and an intransigent look on social injustice. Rahul is an incredible young talent and we are very proud to acquired his film,’ said Autlook CEO Salma Abdalla (Source: Hopewell 2016 np link).

Machines has gone on to play at 10 international film festivals, and won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Excellence in Cinematography at 2017’s Sundance Film Festival (Source: Crimmins 2017 np link).

…there are those who saw Jain’s film at Sundance whose responses will be to call the film, ‘powerful,’ ‘tragic,’ and ‘painful,’ but not to act on behalf of the nearly indentured workers profiled. While the filmmakers don’t seem to be after charitable handouts for their subjects, rhetorical phrases that suggest deep empathy for them will unavoidably emerge in the reviews (Source: Malin 2017 np link).

I know Jain has been doing his best to get Machines shown in major factory towns (Source: @DeusExCimena 2017b np link).

He did tell us that he has funding to show the film for a couple of weeks in cinemas around the factory area so let's hope something positive comes from that (Source: Patel 2017 np link).

During its creation, I was quite intimidated whenever I thought about who might see the film. But all the packed festival screenings have been encouraging and make me feel like there’s a space for me to say what I’m thinking. I think the film’s aesthetic is such that cinephiles are spreading the word about it, not just for those who are politically aware, but those also feel that films have the potential to say something about the world within their own linguistic parameters (Source: Jain in Crimmins 2017 np link).

Usually, we pursue objectives and goals to figure things out. I was trying to understand something, learn about something that was really on the other side. Maybe it was good for the whole process of the film, but I'm more confused. Instead, I'm more aware of the depth of reality (Source: Jain in Anderson-Moore 2017 np link).

It certainly opened my eyes more and perhaps made me an even more empathetic person at the end of the day. But it has only increase my determinism to make more work like this (Source: Jain, R. 2017b np link).

References / Further Reading

@ashghadiali (2017) Had the great privilege of being at the UK prem of Rahul Jain’s Machines (thanks @RajeshThind). Go see this film. It will blow your mind,, 26th April ( last accessed 21st June)

@DeusExCinema (2017a) Seems a shame if Indians themselves aren't getting to see them, so they just become social cause films Westerners can fetishise caring for,, 19th June ( last accessed 20th June 2017)

@DeusExCinema (2017b) I know Jain has been doing his best to get Machines shown in major factory towns, but it only does so much good,, 19th June ( last accessed 20th June 2017)

@E_Film_Blog (2017a) Isn't it great? Perpetual visual motion as a means to access utter social-somatic stasis. I found the juxtaposition totally dizzying,, 15th May ( last accessed 19th June 2017)

@E_Film_Blog (2017b) Absolutely. I was really impressed at the time, but it's stuck with me too. Hope I get the chance to re-watch it in a cinema,, 15th May ( last accessed 19th June 2017)

@federicadecaria (2017a) I finally managed to see Machines by Rahul Jain – of you haven’t watched it go see it. It requires patience, attention and gut,, 1ST June ( last accessed 19th June 2017)

@federicadecaria (2017b) Words are used carefully because images are able to shout loud enough over the rhythmical sound of the machines – your eyes are the camera,, 1ST June ( last accessed 19th June 2017)

@heavier_things (2017a) Rahul Jain’s MACHINES fucked me up real good, 15th May ( last accessed 19th June 2017)

@heavier_things (2017b) Mhmm & the tactility of human skin next to those huge iron machines, 15th May ( last accessed 19th June 2017)

@LondonEconomic (2017) It isn’t often that you come across a factual feature film as hard-hittiing as Rahul Jain’s #Machines,, 29th May ( last accessed 21st June)

@nublvck (2017) One to recommend/ watch if you’re a conscious consumer – the ‘Machines’ documentary by Rahul Jain @Dazed @ethicalhour,, 6th June ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Allen, N. (2017) Sundance 2017: ‘The Good Postman’ & ‘Machines’,, 22nd January ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Anderson-Moore, O. (2017) ‘Sundance Cinematography Winner ‘Machines’: ‘Time is the Primary Unit of Cinema’’, nofilmschool, 2nd February ( last accessed 19th June 2017)

Anon (2016a) Machines (2016) Plot Summary, ( last accessed 19th June 2017)

Anon (2017a) Also showing… London Evening Standard 19th May, 36

Anon (2017b) MACHINES,, Date unknown ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Anon (2017c) Machines, A Film By Rahul Jain, ( last accessed 19th June 2017)

Anon (2017d) Hellish Vision Of Dark Satanic Mills, Morning Star, 19th May ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Anon (2017e) Rangoon: Why Kangana Ranaut was the perfect choice to play ‘Jaanbaaz Julia’, India Today, 13th February, np

Banerji, S. (2017) Treating workers as machines? Business can be part of the cure, Ethical Trading Initiative, 20th May ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Bedingfield, W. (2017) Cloth in Motion, Tank Magazine, ( last accessed 19th June 2017)

Bradshaw, P. (2017) ‘Machines review – piercing portrait of India’s textile industry’, The Guardian, 19th May ( last accessed 19th June 2017)

Chada, R (2017) Comment on TheWire (2017) ‘Machines’ by Rahul Jain reveals how some industries turn bodies into commodities’,, 19th May 2017 ( last accessed 19th June 2017)

Crimmins, D. (2017) 10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2017: Rahul Jain, The independent, 7th June ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Dimitri (2017) Comment on Hans, S. (2017) Machines review – astonishing Indian factory documentary, The Guardian, 21st May ( last accessed 20th June 2017 )

Estebanez, S. (2017) Machines, The UP Coming, 16th May ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Hans, S. (2017) Machines review – astonishing Indian factory documentary, The Guardian, 21st May ( last accessed 19th June 2017)

Hopewell, J. (2016) Autlook Film Sales Boards IDFA Competition Players ‘Amateurs in Space’, ‘Machines’, Plus Venice Title ‘Robinu’, Variety, 18th November ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Hunter, A. (2016) ‘Machines’: IDFA Review, Screen Daily, 30th November ( last accessed 20th June 2017)

Hurme, A. (2017) The Documentary Machines Encourages Us To Fashion Revolution,, 24th April ( last accessed 22nd June 2017)

Jain, R (2017a) Sundance 2017 Winner MACHINES Dir Rahul Jain,, 29th January ( last accessed 19th June 2017)

Jain, R. (2017b) In The Can – Machines,, 25th January ( last accessed 28th June 2017)

Jain, R. (2017c) Machines – DocumentaMadrid 2017,, 2nd June ( last accessed 28th June 2017)

Jain, S. (2017) Comment on Machines (2017) Exiting news!!! Machines will be theatrically released in North America Kino Lorber, UK Dogwoof, Finland Pirkanmaan elokuvakeskus & Arthouse Cinema Niagara , Switzerland Filmcoopi Zürich and Austria DOCS....,, 23rd February ( last accessed 21st June)

Jenkins, D. (2017) Review Machines, Little White Lies, 19th May ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Johnston, T. (2017) Machines, Time Out, 15th May ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Juutinen, O. (2016) MACHINES, Helsinki Documentary Film Festival, Date unknown ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Kenisberg, B. (2017) Summer Movies: August and September, The New York Times, 7th May: 46

Kopian, S. (2017) Machines (2016) Sundance 2017 MOMA Doc Fortnight 2017,, 31st January ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

KorkytheKat (2017) Comment on Hans, S. (2017) Machines review – astonishing Indian factory documentary, The Guardian, 21st May ( last accessed 20th June 2017)

Koshy, Y (2017) ‘Machines’ Shows Us We’re Not Past Industrial Squalor, VICE, 21st April ( last accessed 19th June 2017) 

Lodge, G. (2016) IDFA Film Review: ‘Machines’, Variety, 18th November ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Machines (2017) Comment on Machines (2017) Exiting news!!! Machines will be theatrically released in North America Kino Lorber, UK Dogwoof, Finland Pirkanmaan elokuvakeskus & Arthouse Cinema Niagara , Switzerland Filmcoopi Zürich and Austria DOCS....,, 23rd February ( last accessed 21st June)

Macnab, G. (2017) Film reviews round-up: The Secret Scripture, Snatched, Colossal, Machines, The Independent, 16th May (, last accessed 20th June 2017)

Malin, S. L. (2017) Sundance 2017: Welcome To the ‘Machines’,,
21st January 2017 ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Marric, L. (2017) Machine: Documentary Review,, 19th May ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Mezzadri, A. (2017a) Humans are the real machines in acclaimed documentary set in a Surat textile factory,, 21st May,( last accessed 19th June 2017)

Mezzandri, A. (2017b) Watch this documentary to understand the working poverty of the sweatshop, The Converstation, 17th May ( last accessed 20th June 2017)

Mobarak, J. (2017) Machines Sundance 2017 Review,, 2nd February ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Muir, K. (2017) A little life turned upside down in Iran; This compelling domestic drama about a woman fighting her corner paints big issues on a small canvas, says Kate Muir, The Times, 19th May ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Murthi, V. (2016) ‘Machines’ Exclusive Trailer: New Documentary Goes Inside a Textile Factory In Gujarat, India, Indie Wire, 17th November ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Nicholson, B. (2017) Factory records: workers of the world, across 11 new documentaries,, 27th April ( last accessed 22nd June 2017)

Palfreyman (2017) Comment on Hans, S. (2017) Machines review – astonishing Indian factory documentary, The Guardian, 21st May ( last accessed 20th June 2017 )

Patel, A. (2017) The human cost, , 22nd April ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Pope, T (2017) Comment on Autolook Filmsales (2016) Machines Official Trailer,, 19th June ( last accessed 20th June 2017)

Reuters (2017) Poor and sick: Film spotlights plight of India’s textile workers, GULF NEWS India, 20th June ( last accessed 20th June 2017)

Rose, S. (2017) Colossal and Machines: the best films in the UK this week, The Guardian, 19th May, ( last accessed 20th June 2017)

Saunders, W. (2017) Men made Machines, Modern Times Review, 20th March ( last accessed 22nd June 2017)

Sciascia, Q. (2017) Comment on Hans, S. (2017) Machines review – astonishing Indian factory documentary, The Guardian, 21st May ( last accessed 20th June 2017)

Sheehan, S. (2017) Machines, The Digital Fix, May ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Siegle, L. (2017) The eco guide to bike-sharing, The Guardian, 16th April ( last accessed 20th June 2017)

Simpson, M. (2017) Machines, an amazing debut feature about working conditions in a factory in India,, 19th May ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Srivastava, R. (2017) Deafening power looms muffle desperation in India’s textile hub, Thomson Reuters Foundation News, 19th April ( last accessed 21st June 2017)

Stmern22 (2017) Comment on Bradshaw, P. (2017) ‘Machines review – piercing portrait of India’s textile industry’, The Guardian, 19th May ( last accessed 20th June 2017)

SweetMamba (2017) Comment on Hans, S. (2017) Machines review – astonishing Indian factory documentary, The Guardian, 21st May ( last accessed 20th June 2017)

Tejes Girl (2017) Comment on Autolook Filmsales (2016)  Machines Official Trailer, February ( last accessed 20th June 2017)

theformary (2017) Instagram post: Machines, a human centred documentary…,, 31st May ( last accessed 19th June 2017)

varadha2u (2017) Comment on Hans, S. (2017) Machines review – astonishing Indian factory documentary, The Guardian, 21st May ( last accessed 20th June 2017 )

Wise, D. (2016) ‘‘Machines’ Director Rahul Jain: ‘I Was Not Interested in Giving Any Answers’, Variety, 17th November ( last accessed 19th June 2017)

Woodward, D. (2017) The documentary exposing the dark reality of fast fashion,, ( last accessed 20th June 2017)

Yevaru  (2017) Comment on Hans, S. (2017) Machines review – astonishing Indian factory documentary, The Guardian, 21st May ( last accessed 20th June 2017)

Young, N. (2016) ‘Machines’: Film Review’, The Hollywood Reporter, 30th December ( last accessed 20th June 2017)

Page compiled by Annily Skye Jeffries as part of a internship, edited by Ian Cook (last updated July 2017). Trailer video embedded with kind permission of Rahul Jain. Compilation, editing and translation supported by the Kone Foundation.