Education About Asia: Online Archives

A Personal View of Child Labor and Its Depiction in That’s Why I’m Working

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Directed by Maarten Schmidt and Thomas Doebele

Distributed by First Run/Icarus Films

32 Court Street, Floor 21, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone: 1-800-876-1710

1999. 53 minutes, English subtitles

That’s Why I’m Working is a deeply moving story of young boys and girls in the urban trenches of Dacca (Dhaka), Bangladesh, a country with more than 110 million people. This is a story that is very close to my heart, as it closely reflects my own personal experience as a boy growing up in Nepal. Embedded in this story is the instinct and imperative of survival. It is moving, not so much because it is a familiar Dickensonian tale of children trapped in poverty, but because children themselves tell their stories in a fashion that leaves little margin for manipulation.