In the history of cinematography, documentaries have shocked the world and raised high levels of concerns from both governments and individuals. China Blue is one of such documentary. This is a documentary directed by Micha Peled. It was released in 2005 and runs for 88 minutes. The story revolves around labor issues, and it is a methodogical study of life inside a company that produces clothes. The documentary specifically addresses the issues that surround a Chinese sweatshop. This is a company that mass produces the highest number of blue jeans. The owner of the factory is a retired police chief, Mr. Lam. The movie specifically addresses cheap labor being one of the heartbreaking documentaries. Mr. Lam considers himself a successful man, because he runs a business that is booming. However, this comes at a price of cheap labor.
The cost of the success emanates from the work of young people like Jasmine, a 16-year-old girl who works as a thread cutter for up to 20 hours at an average wage of 6 cents per hour. This is an example of outright exploitation by the company. At the same time, workers are pushing for a better wage rate from the factory owner. Following the story, Jasmine uses her coveted sleep time to write stories about a superhero, the quest of her co-workers for better wages, and their plans to visit their rural homes. Thus, the documentary records the dreams of the girl. This is where the documentary begins. Jasmine arrives from the village, and she has a dream to achieve — the dream of making her life better. This is what all young people aspire to do. This is a clear sign of optimism among the people.
However, as the movie continues portraying the factory, disillusionment wanes the optimism of the young people (Luyckx, 2007). This is for all the workers alike. At the factory, unpaid overtime is the prime rule. When orders are due, we see the workers working day and night not just by own will. In addition, the factor pays the wages late, and, at some point, it withholds the wages until the delivery of the urgent order.
China Blue shows the conditions in the factory and how they are connected with the cut-throat competition in the global market. This is where we see how the American and European companies negotiate with the Chinese company up to their last coin. In addition, this shows how the buyers often impose tight time limits. This is what forces the factory to speed up the production of the jeans in order to meet the imposed deadlines. The documentary moves from some of the tense management meetings and ends up with fierce price negotiations. It examines how the company takes the price negotiations of its products with the western buyers. At the same time, the documentary examines the predicament of the world supplier of cheap labor and traces this kind of exploitation to the nearest retailers.
The documentary shows the hard-nosed negotiations that allow companies such as Wal-Mart to sell the bought jeans with rollback savings. This comes at a cost of rolling back the working conditions to the factory. At the same time, the documentary shows that this is the game that other major brand names play. Outsourcing production to the cheapest producers is the big deal that the companies take. In the movie, Jasmine wonders at the tall people wearing the jeans they are making. This is her feeling throughout the whole film. In the end, an individual can realize that there is a connection between a consumer in the United States and workers in the Chinese sweatshops. It shows the exploitation that occurs in outsourcing.