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Where Heaven Meets Hell (2011) Capsule Review FAQ
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Genre: Documentary / HotDocs  
Visually striking documentary on Indonesia's sulfer miners.  



Directed by:

Sasha Friedlander

Screenplay by: n/a
Music by:

David Osit

Produced by: Sasha Friedlander, Bao Nguyen, David Osit


Film Length: 80 mins.
Process / Ratio: 1.85:1
Anamorphic: n/a
Languages:  Malay Dolby Digital
Special Features :  


Comments :  


Briefly showcased in the BBC documentary series Human Planet [M] (2010) and a known tourist draw for exotic travelers, the sulfur mines inside Indonesia’s active Kawah Ijen volcano resemble a beautifully hellish vision from some inner-Earth novel where men hack out chunks of fresh sulfur deposits from nearby fissures and pipes and carry them down precarious foot-carved trails to a station for further processing.

First-time director Sasha Friedlander chose a discretionary approach to film four separate miners with shared backgrounds, eschewing narration and external interviews which leave a few gaping factual holes (such as sulfur's biological repercussions on the miners' bodies), but the doc makes its impact through a careful arrangement of stunning visuals and emotionally intimate moments with the miners and their families. Where Heaven Meets Hell isn’t a drama about the environment; it’s a plea for better working conditions and the kind of basic human needs already mandatory in Europe and North America.


© 2012 Mark R. Hasan

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