A procession of men walk in the faint dawn carrying empty baskets and lit torches. They return much more slowly, shouldering heavy baskets full of sulfur, coughing as they trudge though clouds of noxious smoke.
This is the opening scene of the documentary “Between Heaven and Hell,” which follows the stories of four sulfur miners and their families at Kawah Ijen in East Java.
American documentary-maker Sasha Friedlander introduces us to Anto, an ambitious, multilingual young miner with a new wife and child; Purnamo, Anto’s best friend who is already suffering from respiratory problems; Sukaraman, an older miner who works to ensure his children do not have to follow in his footsteps into the volcano’s crater; and Hadis, whose bright young daughter Tuti’s enrollment at school is as tenuous as her father’s livelihood.
Read more at The Jakarta Globe