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Village Voice by
Machines proves both uncompromising and unforgettable.
The New York Times by
The ideological charge leveled for decades at this strain of filmmaking is that such eye-catching tableaus romanticize poverty, but prettified squalor has become sadly familiar in global documentary filmmaking. In Machines, even at barely more than an hour, the style leads to diminishing returns.
A spare and unflinching documentary about the true cost of cheap textiles, Machines doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know about the inhumane work conditions in countries like India, but it forces us to become palpably familiar with the awful facts of the matter.
A film so obedient to current academic fashions in both politics and cinema aesthetics that it ends up feeling both contrived and a bit dishonest.
This simultaneously beautiful and abjectly unhappy film is forced to close by silently admitting its limitations.
Slant Magazine by
Rahul Jain’s film conveys with revelatory force the mechanization of people in an industrialized milieu.
Total Film by
While their situation feels futile, the film is almost poetic in posing important questions.
The Hollywood Reporter by
Showing levels of controlled concentration and unfussy flair far beyond what may be expected from a "student film," Machines powerfully evokes the sights and sounds — and almost even the smells — of a sprawling, stygian textiles plant south of India's eighth-largest (but very seldom filmed) city, Surat.
The Guardian by
A sombre, relevant piece of work.
Time Out London by
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.