If hell has a smell, it’s probably rotten eggs. For the miners at Kawah Ijen in Indonesia, hell is a daily reality. Down in the active volcano’s crater, they mine sulfur. Breaking their bodies amongst gut-wrenching conditions (and all for less than $2 an hour), they carry 200-pound loads up the narrow, rocky crater-side on their backs. But what other options do they have? They are carried by their faith in Islam and the hope that they will be able to save enough money to send their children to school.
Director Sasha Friedlander’s WHERE HEAVEN MEETS HELL profiles four men who do some of the worst work available on earth and lets them tell their stories in their own voices. There is beauty to be found in even the most horrific parts of nature and that the film’s cinematography can capture this without feeling artificial is one of its greatest strengths; as are the dreams and determination of the sulfur miners.
Synopsis written by: Chris Claxton