The Last Rites depicts the ship breaking yards of Chittagong, Bangladesh - a final destination for ships that are too old to ply the oceans any longer.
Every year, hundreds of ships are sent to yards in Bangladesh. And every year, thousands of people come to these yards in search of jobs. Risking their lives to save themselves from hunger, they breathe in asbestos dust and toxic waste.
The elemental struggle between man and metal figures throughout the film, as men carry the weight of steel ropes over their shoulders, pull huge parts of the vessels inland, and bear great metal plates. The Last Rites is an allegorical portrayal of the agony of hard labour.