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The Golden Thread

86 min/India/Netherlands/Norway/BnH/UK/ 2022

Outside Kolkata a few jute mills crank on, virtually unchanged since the industrial revolution. Powered by steam and sweat, work is a dance to the rhythms of the century-old machines. The Golden Thread follows the weft and warp of jute work, weaving the 'fibre of the future' with the dreams and desperations of its workers. 


Director: Nishtha Jain 

Writers: Nishtha Jain & Deborah Matzner

Cinematographer: Rakesh Haridas

Editor: Alex Goekjian & Nishtha Jain

Sound Design: Niraj Gera

Music: Kenneth Ishak


Nishtha Jain (Raintree Films, India

Irena Taskovski (Taskovski Film, UK)

Morana Komljenovic (Kolek Doo Dokudum, BnH)


Frank Der Engel (Zeppers Film, The Netherlands)

Fabien Greenberg & Bard (Antip0de Films, Norway)

‘In an often hermetic world of film festivals it has become increasingly fashionable over the past couple of decades to confuse a certain kind of cinematic minimalism and formal austerity for a sign of a serious, thoughtful, engaged talent at work. While this trend is perfectly harmless when it comes to fiction, it becomes very problematic when we are confronted with documentary images of ongoing human struggles that take place in exoticized nameless environments, with nameless and voiceless human beings reduced to suffering flesh. The perpetrator is always the same: detached gaze of a Western filmmaker, fascinated by the otherness of the places he can afford to visit. In such cultural climate, Nishtha Jain's latest documentary The Golden Thread is somewhat of a miracle. It starts with a loaded image of workers entering the factory: an homage to the cinematographic image itself, an homage to the primal ability of the cinematographic image to show, to monstrate. It continues as a purely visual experience, a symphony of images inhabited by tired men and ancient machines that would make Dziga Vertov proud. But then, and while retaining its visual vibrancy, it progresses into something else: into an intimate record of time spent with the workers. Careful observation evolves into a respectful conversation: each face carries a secret wish, each blister has a history. Golden Thread is an ethic and aesthetic blueprint for a labor documentary of the future.”

- Jurij Meden

Film Critic and curator at Vienna Cinematheque


Grand Prix du Grand Bivouac, France
'The Prickle' Special Jury Award at Provinziale - Filmfest Eberswalde 2023

Audience Award at IFFLA 2023, Los Angeles

Best Long International Documentary at Cine Eco, Portugal 2023
DocuDarwin at Dokubaku 2023

Hon'ble Mention DOXA Film Festival 2023

Opening Film Montrose Landx Sea Film Fest 2023

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