Rahul Jain’s documentary Machines–which won the Cinematography award at Sundance–takes place inside a textile factory in India where it took a while for him to gain the sort of intimacy needed to film the factory’s workers.
“[Nobody] in that socio-economic class has been filmed before,” Jain explains. “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.”
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