Union Leader: Director Sanjay Patel and cast talk about portraying mill workers' strife
Union Leader tell the story of a mill worker who decides to take charge and demand better rights when he sees the toll that working in a mill takes on his coworkers
Factories and the inhuman conditions in which factory workers persevere have been the subject of many movies, right from the German Expressionist film Metropolis and the much-loved Charlie Chaplin comedy Modern Times. This issue is also at the heart of Union Leader directed by Sanjay Patel, which tells the story of a mill worker through the lens of labour rights.
In the film, Jay finds himself taking on the role of a union leader when he observes the injustice that is being meted out by the owners of the mill he works at. Witnessing his co-workers falling sick and one of them dying causes him to take charge of his situation and make demands for a better work environment. He is up against people who only care about profit, and who are aided by employees who tamper with medical reports and destroy evidence.
There are many reasons why Jay should not become a union leader; he stands the risk of being fired, being deprived of a livelihood and even being killed. And yet he battles on — but are his intentions pure?
In this conversation, Patel and cast members Rahul Bhat and Samvedna Suwalka talk about shooting in a mill, the dangers of a system that does not care about its workers, and how India fares when it comes to workplace safety.
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