And that’s why I’m working, 14 years later

Society & Culture
Maarten Schmidt and Thomas Doebele
IKON Television
HD available

Fourteen years after the documentary That’s why I’m working (1999), filmmakers Maarten Schmidt and Thomas Doebele went back to the children from one of Dhaka’s slums, in Bangladesh. Under the motto `Today’s working children are tomorrow’s uneducated adults,’ they could go to school for free. They are in their twenties now, and the filmmakers were wondering if the vicious circle of poverty passed on from generation to generation has been broken.

In this new documentary, That’s why I’m working, 14 years later, the stories of the seven children (Shummon, Asia, Raihan, Rita, Rina, Shiuleen and Imran) in the past are intertwined with the reality of today: the hard labor of the textile industry, the problems involving arranged marriages and the heavy responsibility for the family. Parents keep to their traditional norms and values, while their children are beginning to have other ideas. Some postpone the wedding until after completion of education or till the starting up of a new business, others wait till enough money has been saved for a better house before having children, and the young, single mother in a dead-end situation already teaches her toddler to read.

Each one makes, no matter how difficult it may be, plans for a better, different life than the one of their parents.