Where Heaven Meets Hell

About This Episode

In East Java, Indonesia lies Kawah Ijen, an active volcano that houses a labor-intensive sulfur mining operation. Before daybreak, 500 independent miners collect and haul loads of up to 200lbs. of pure sulfur. They trek up a four-kilometer path out of the crater, and then climb down to the village at the base of the volcano to unload, only to repeat the round trip journey several times before the day ends.

Where Heaven Meets Hell follows four miners: Anto, a young miner who, having taught himself several languages, has the intelligence necessary to create a better life for his family but stumbles into escapism; Purnomo, Anto's best friend, who suffers from the onset of lung disease; the oldest of the miners, Sukarman, refuses to let his children pursue life as a miner and so invests his life savings to opening a small business; and Hadis, a father unable to afford the fees that allow his daughter to attend school.

Chronicling the miners' attempts to escape poverty and lack of education which haunts their community, Where Heaven Meets Hell is a study of endurance and the sustaining power of faith, love and family through desperate times. It is also a portrait of endemic poverty and the costs of modernity on unprotected laborers.