Shipwreck is the story of Johor and Salam, men that work at the ship yards breaking vessels in Chittagong, a coastal province of Bangladesh. Bengali men struggling to raise their families against a backdrop of labor uncertainty, health hazards unknown to us, and salaries that make them the most competitive labor force in the world.
Johor is a cutter, a crafted worker that slices down the ships day and night. He sits at the top of the job positions in the yard. Salam is older but strong, he is also a leader within the collective house he lives at. The two of them represent the whole of the man power assembled in the yards. This is their story.
Shipwreck is the battleground where barehanded men dismantle these gigantic ships. Their work is considered a great asset to the country’s economy taking into account the high price of steel in the world market. For them workers, is a good way to ensure their children’s future and they believe, in time, their working conditions will only improve.
Shipwreck is a modern version of David against Goliath. Where the real giant David must bring down is a system oblivious to the human beings which it is supposed to serve, represented in this film by the hopeless enormous carcasses wrecked at a soiled beach. An industry breaking down more than 500 large ships a year that is unlikely to stop while there are ships to be broken, unpaid and unprepared workers eager to break them, and large amounts of money to be made amidst the hypocrisy of the western world.