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Precious Herbs: The Story of Tea
Description: Documentary from 1937 filmed in the small Indonesian West Java town of Malabar. Follows the entire process of tea manufacturing from being grown and harvested in the fields, ground and processed in the factory, and eventually shipped out to countries around the world. Excellent footage of Indonesian men and women working in fields and factories, being paid meager wages by Caucasian superiors, and the inner-workings of a factory. Great shot of an ocean liner passenger sitting in a deckchair relaxing over a cup of tea.
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Clip #: AD-22
Length: 29:42
Year: 1937
Color: B/W
Sound: Silent
Library: Getty Images
Decade: 1930s
Filmmaker: Andre de la Varre
Region: South Asia
Country: Java
City: Malabar
Subject: Workers
Original: 35mm
1930s, Malay Archipelago, Southeast Asia, Southeast Indonesians, Indonesians, South East Asia, Indonesians, Javanese, Sudanese, Madurese, Indonesian Chinese, Cirebonese, field workers, field hands, agricultural hand tools, female workers, women, industrialization, industry, industries, modernization, cruise ship, cruisers, cargo ships, ocean liners, third world countries, 3rd world countries, poverty, poor, agricultural economies, farming economies, Malabar Tea Garden, babies, conveyor belts, cranes, doctors, factories, factory workers, farmers, farms, agricultural fields, furnaces, harvesting, herbs, logging, lumberjacks, machinery, medical, money, mothers, mountains, planting, ports, refineries, scales, shipping, shipping ports, trucks, drinking, natives, native cultures 01:00:13:09 Malabar, West Java, Indonesia WS PAN mountain range (landscape) (Mount Malabar - Gunung Malabar?). TD trees & plants in fertile area. LA tree falling. TU Indonesian loggers chopping down large tree w/ axes. VS LA trees falling to ground. 01:01:40:22 Malabar, West Java VS Indonesian loggers in forest chopping foliage off branches w/ axes & machetes, using wood for lumber & throwing scraps into bonfire. VS Indonesian field hands in agricultural field digging irrigation trenches & ditches. CU Indonesian field hands measuring plots to plant crops in soil. VS Indonesian female field hands planting seeds in soil. PAN Indonesian female field hands in the field inspecting crops / plants. 01:03:46:23 Malabar, West Java WS workers walking through patch of tall crops in field. Indonesian field hands cutting down tall crops. CU using sickle to chop off crops. HA field hands picking up chopped down tea leaves from soil. HA digging up soil w/ shovel near freshly barren crops. WS Indonesian field hands digging up soil w/ shovels. 01:05:07:05 Malabar, West Java WS PAN Indonesian field hands planting crops in field. HA Indonesian female field hand planting crop in ditch, another field hand shoveling dirt over ditch to cover crop. CU planting crop in soil along ditch. MS man packing soil around planted crop held in place by field hand. HA patting down soil w/ feet. Field hands smoothing down soil w/ shovels. WS PAN field hands planting crops in field. Indonesian female field hand smoothing out soil. HA "newborn" crops in soil near irrigation ditch. CU hand inspecting leaves of crops. 01:06:37:02 Malabar, West Java Man inspecting patch of crops. LS men walking along patch of trees near field. CU tea leaves on branches. Indonesian field hands cutting off branches from bushes. CU using sickle to cut off branches. CU HA branches naked of foliage. PAN agricultural fields of crops & trees. 01:08:14:16 Malabar, West Java TRACKING SHOT past agricultural fields w/ mountain range in BG (Mount Malabar - Gunung Malabar?). WS PAN rolling hills of agricultural fields w/ Indonesian field hands working. VS Indonesian female farm hands (some wearing coolie hats) working on field. MS female field hands picking tea leaves off crop bushes. LA CU picking tea leaves off crop bushes. 02:00:13:19 Malabar, West Java WS PAN row of Indonesian female field hands sitting on ground in field sorting through piles of crops, male supervisor watching over. MS woman collecting discarded crops in blanket. VS Indonesian female field hands picking up sacks full of tea leaf crops which are weighed by male supervisors. Indonesian female field hands dumping sacks of tea leaf crops into barrels. Supervisor instructing row of Indonesian field hands to lift barrels of tea leaf crops carried along their backs on poles (good shot, agricultural economy, farming economy, third world country). Field hands carry barrels of tea leaf crops along forested area & deposit them outside building. 02:01:35:22 Malabar, West Java VS Indonesian female field hands carrying sacks of tea leaf crops on their heads walking through fields & up to building (good shots, agricultural economy, farming economy, third world country). VS Indonesian female field hands in courtyard being paid by Caucasian supervisor sitting at table, women bowing & kneeling in subordination. CU Indonesian worker talking (reading out amount collected by field hand). CU hand of Caucasian supervisor picking up coin from pile to give to female field hand. VS Indonesian worker handing coins to kneeling female field hands, who bow in appreciation. (excellent shots, agricultural economy, third world country, subordination, oppression) 02:03:05:28 Malabar, West Java Barrels of tea leaf crops loaded by Indonesian workers into back of truck which drives off. Truck backs up into loading dock & barrels of tea leaf crops are unloaded. OS Indonesian worker logging weight of crop barrels. Barrels being loaded onto dumbwaiter. Oxen pulling large cart operated by Indonesian workers along road. 02:04:26:08 Malabar, West Java Indonesian workers loading barrels of tea leaf crops onto pulley w/ cables transporting barrels over field to main building. Indonesian workers unloading barrels from cable when they arrive at building & placing on dumbwaiter. Workers transporting barrels on hand trucks inside hallway. CU dumping tea leaf crops into machine & Indonesian woman dispersing leaves on racks (drying racks?). 02:06:23:27 Malabar, West Java Silhouetted view of fan starting to move. WS rain pouring in yard outside building. WS huts nestled in farmland. HA rows of huts. VS EXTS large huts & buildings, Indonesian people walking by. Caucasian doctor in clinic giving check up to Indonesian baby held by mother. VS EXT & facade large institutional building w/ mountain in BG (hospital?). 02:07:58:00 Malabar, West Java PAN group of Indonesian women wearing shawls kneeling on courtyard, male supervisor gives order & they walk into building. INT factory Indonesian female worker shaking racks full of tea leaves so that they fall on ground. Indonesian female worker pushing piles of tae leaves into hole in ground. Indonesian worker inspecting machines. 02:08:52:08 Malabar, West Java INT factory Indonesian workers dumping tea leaves into revolving machines. VS CU machine grinding tea leaves. Worker pulling out tray from underneath machine w/ coarsely ground up tea leaves & transporting to another machine. Indonesian workers loading coarsely ground up tea leaves into machine & dispersing material on tray. HA fragmented grounds of tea leaves on ground underneath machine. Indonesian worker filling baskets w/ grounds spit out by machine. LS Indonesian worker sweeping floor. Indonesian worker dumping basket of coarsely ground tea leaves onto table which worker disperses evenly out. 03:00:13:28 Malabar, West Java INT factory VS Indonesian workers pushing carts of equipment, dumping material into machines. MS Indonesian worker throwing lumber into furnace. CU scattering tea leaf grounds into machine which further grounds it. CU conveyor belt within machine slowly moving. Grounds being ejected from machine & scooped up by worker. Worker dumping grounds into machine which further processes it. 03:01:43:06 Malabar, West Java INT factory Indonesian female worker walks by machine which starts up. VS machine sifting tea leaf grounds. WS PAN factory w/ Indonesian female workers working at different stations / machines (good establishing shot, factories, industrial). CU woman dispersing tea leaf grounds on sifting machine. CU examples of tea "before and after" (both in leaves & final, ground product). 03:03:07:13 Malabar, West Java VS rows of Indonesian female workers in traditional dress sitting at tables sorting tea leaf grounds. Caucasian men doing taste test on different teas. TU full shelves of stacked tinfoil packages. Indonesian worker loading crates onto cart which he pushes away from main building. 03:04:29:19 Malabar, West Java Worker lifts door of container & pours discarded material into it (disposing of trash?) Indonesian workers lift door along wall & collect tea leaf grounds that fall out, keep carrying grounds to center of room & eventually form huge mound. Indonesian worker constructs wood box by hammering wood panels & placing tinfoil on inside. Indonesian workers dump grounds into large funnels on top of machine. CU machine spitting out grounds (blurry). 03:06:20:16 Malabar, West Java Indonesian worker seals box containing tea grounds by placing tinfoil & hammering board on top. Indonesian worker stencils label onto top of box which reads "Malabar Orange Pekoe." Indonesian workers carrying boxes of tea & loading into back of truck. CU Indonesian workers carrying boxes w/ International cities printed on them. Truck full of tea crates driving off. 03:07:14:01 Port of Cirebon, West Java, Indonesia LS railroad train driving away into distance. VS crates in net being hoisted by crane onto ocean liner (loading). Indonesian workers lining up crates on deck of ship. Indonesian sailors on pier unraveling mooring rope from bollard, ocean liner starts to back up from pier. LA WS TD passengers on deck of ocean liner w/ streamers to people on pier waving to passengers. LS WS ocean liner slowly departs. Male passenger relaxing in deckchair on deck of ocean liner w/ legs propped up enjoys cup of tea! (great shot, leisure) 03:09:57:22

Original nitrate film elements no longer available

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