Joseph MANGAT Philippines, USA, Taiwan 120 mins M18 (Mature Content) Asian Premiere
Religion, labour and capital intersect in this observational documentary on the lives of artisans in a factory that makes Catholic figurines.
In a labyrinthine factory in Metro Manila, workers are crammed together, inhaling toxic fumes with minimal protective gear, to make Catholic figurines for the huge religion market in the country. For some of these queer workers, life in the factory provides respite from an even harsher reality outside of it: addiction, violence and poverty.
Divine Factory explores the quotidian lives of the artisans through memory, craft and financial security. At the same time, the observational documentary offers a searing critique on labour conditions in a capitalist economy—steering us to look more deeply at religious objects, beyond their veneer of ‘religious aura’.
Joseph MANGAT is a Filipino filmmaker. His short films include Exorcism (2014) and Killings (2018), the latter a grim look at the vigilante killings in his home country. His feature debut, Divine Factory was a recipient of Tan Ean Kiam Foundation-SGIFF Southeast Asian Documentary Grant (SEA-DOC).