Red cadmium dust drifted freely in China’s nickelcadmium battery factories owned and operated by GP Batteries (GP), one of the world’s top battery manufacturers. Ren, a migrant worker originally from Sichuan, suffers from frequent headaches and breathing difficulties. If untreated, the cadmium poisoning can lead to kidney failure, cancer, and even death. “Red Dust” tells an unexamined side of China’s economic development: the resistance, courage, and hope of workers battling occupational disease, demanding justice from the local government and global capital.
Karin T. Mak was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, USA to immigrants originally from Hong Kong. Mak left the Midwest to pursue a degree in Media Studies at Pomona College. She worked
for several years on immigrant and workers’ rights campaigns in California. In 2003, she received the New Voices Fellowship to work with Sweatshop
Watch, a Los Angeles-based non-profit advocating for
workers’ rights. In 2008, she earned an M.A. in Social Documentation from the University of California Santa
Cruz. Mak’s films have screened all over the world.