Socialist Worker

Red Soil—when earning a living also means losing your life

by Isabel Ringrose
Issue No. 2768

Nours discovery puts her in conflict with her father in Red Soil

Nour's discovery puts her in conflict with her father in Red Soil


Red Soil grapples with conflict and loyalty.  Based on a chilling reality, Nour uncovers hidden truths while working as a nurse at the French chemical plant her father has been at for 30 years.

Her father Slimane is also the workers’ union representative fighting to keep the plant open at all costs to secure jobs for the workforce. But ultimately, the sacrifices they make are to their detriment.

Arkalu is a giant chemical factory providing jobs and infrastructure in the small town.

But Nour discovers the plant’s old toxic dumping ground and is left asking whether the company has done anything to address the toxic material.

Caught between her moral need to reveal the truth and her family who rely on the factory, Nour is conflicted. The film’s slow build up reveals problems to come. Workers have laboured breathing, are unable to smell, or develop cancers and respiratory problems. The lack of safety equipment is an early warning sign.

As she investigates, Nour meets red tape and excuses such as “Tests have been run”, “It’s all legal” or “We’re following regulations”.

And many are in denial that the material they work with, breathe and handle every day is toxic because of a fear of the plant being closed.

Red Soil shows the reality for workers caught up in unethical practices that risk the environment and people’s lives. It’s an example of how corporate greed comes before everything.

The battle to keep the plant running is tied to a dilemma for the workers—earning a living or keeping their lives.

Nour doesn’t see why there has to be a choice between the two.

Available on digital platforms from Monday 16th August

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Tue 17 Aug 2021, 14:26 BST
Issue No. 2768
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