Where Heaven Meets Hell

Sasha Friedlander, Indonesia / USA, 2012, color, HDcam, 54'
Synopsis

The Kawah Ijen volcano on the Indonesian island of Java is a major tourist attraction and an important source of income for the local population. This active volcano is rich in sulfur, which can be used as a pigment and a preservative. Every day, hundreds of miners come and go, carrying baskets of yellow sulfur on their shoulders. The dense smoke coming from the volcano may be photogenic, but it also makes their work even more difficult. For a miner named Anto, the future of his little boy comes first. Lack of money meant Anto couldn't finish school, and that's why he depends on the volcano for his income. He knows all too well what tourists think about his workplace: "It looks like hell. But this is my life." Anto has big dreams, even if the chances of finding another job are slim. As soon as he learns to speak English or French, he'll be able to work in the tourist industry, and at night he practices using a grubby dictionary. But until he's ready, the mighty Kawah Ijen is the only way to a better life - if not for Anto, then for his son.

In memory of Michael Glawogger April 24, 2014 | With great sadness, IDFA learned of the tragic death of Michael Glawogger at the age of 54 earlier this week. The Austrian director died of malaria at the age of 54 while filming in Liberia, Die Presse reports.
Call for Entry: IDFA Bertha Fund April 22, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund, which supports documentary filmmakers in and from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe, has announced its second and last selection round for 2014. The deadline for submisison is May 15.
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