An army of “green soldiers” dismantles metallic waste, often at the price of their health
For more than twenty years, tons and tons of metallic and electronic waste from Japan, USA, Australia but also from Europe and other countries was transported to a Chinese town called Fengjiang, in the south of Shanghai. Heap of metal of all kinds began to form disturbing reliefs within the townscape.
Around 50 000 migrant workers, avoiding the living conditions of the western poor regions of China, formed a real army of dismantling of these metallic wastes. These " green soldiers " decompose, cut, split and recycle, with the most rudimentary means, almost 2 million tons of garbage every year. The whole city seems given rhythm by this relentless work and the noise seems to become blurred only in the dark night …
To make us live this experience of the inside, the director accompanies Han ZHANG and Qiuxia JING’s family in their daily life, which, really, seems to be a real arm wrestling with the life. Their sighs and anxieties change nothing. To remain and assume the minimum material of theirs, they work hard, bear an incredible precariousness and put in danger their own health because of the simply unacceptable working conditions.
During this time, the fragments of metals, which look like strangely ours, continue to accumulate, and send back to us a deeply moving image of our consumer society.