Director Sasha Friedlander in person!
Deep in the rain forests of Eastern Java, Indonesia, lies the active volcano, Kawah Ijen, where 500 sulfur miners carrying back-breaking loads, traverse treacherous terrain amidst spectacular vistas and toxic gases. Where Heaven Meets Hell follows the lives of four of these miners, who risk their lives and health daily in an industry we rely on for rubber, sugar, matches and cosmetics.
Anto, a young miner with a new wife and child, has taught himself several languages and hopes this talent will help him create a better life for his family. His best friend, Purnomo, suffers from the onset of lung disease, yet doesn’t have the skills or motivation to break away from his life as a miner. Sukarman, the oldest of the miners, refuses to let his children pursue the same path he did. Hadis, a devout Muslim, works overtime, hoping to afford to send his daughter back to school.
Director Sasha Friedlander’s visually stunning and intimate film chronicles their attempts to escape the endemic poverty and lack of education that haunts their community. She draws us into their world and paints a moving portrait, highlighting the humanity, humor, and commonalities shared by people and workers everywhere–caring for family and providing a life worth living to those who depend on them.