SXSW Film ‘10 — Iron Crows

Iron Crows is a terribly depressing documentary about the men and children who work tirelessly as ship dismantlers in southern Bangladesh — all for less then $2 a day.

The film follows a sampling of the workers — including Belal, a 21-year-old with a wife and blind child at home that he rarely has an opportunity to see because he’s busy risking his life in the shipyard to support his family. Ekramuel is a 12-year-old boy trying to make an honest living doing a job that kills an average of 20 people a year. Those that don’t die right away from the near-constant stream of unavoidable accidents are slowly poisoned from toxic gases and consent exposure to caustic metals.

For the workers, though, this job is an undeniable gift — their only chance to attempt real changes in their life and shape their own destiny.

The movie, directed by Korean filmmaker Bong-Nam Park, is an eye-opening look at a group of people who risk their lives on a daily basis for an amount of money most Americans wouldn’t be able to live on for an hour.

With a true artist’s eye, Park takes in the shipyards with his camera — taking audiences on a tour of the careful dismantling of the gigantic retired boats that are brought in for complete recycling. Everything must go — from individual light bulbs to the giant sheets of metal that make up the frame of the boat.

Iron Crows is not an easy film to watch. There is no entertainment to be found, no joy in what you are seeing. It is an important film, though — great for putting things in perspective.

Category: SX Global
Director: Bong-Nam Park
Showtimes: Monday, March 15 at 4 PM at The Hideout and Thursday, March 18 at 11:30 AM at Alamo Lamar

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The South by Southwest film festival will be held in Austin from March 12 through the 20th. For more information about attending the festival and the films being shown, visit