Movie Talk: Review of Sleep Dealer

 Ed's personal KBOO blog is still under construction. Until then, here is his latest review


Sleep Dealer (USA/Mexico 2008)

Director: Alex Rivera

With: Luis Fernando Pena, Leonor Varela, Jacob Vargas

Where: Hollywood Theatre


(Mostly in Spanish, with subtitles)

Dystopian vision of the not-too-distant future, specifically the US-Mexican border.  Water in Mexico is owned by corporate entities who sell it to farmers at exorbitant rates, and guard it with military drones and robot weapons.

A drone pilot, Rudy (Vargas) kills a farmer, who was IDed as an “aqua-terrorist.”  His son Memo (Pena) leaves to find work in Tijuana, which has become a mega-city.  To find decent work, Memo must get nodes, jacks that allow him to be plugged in to industrial cyberspace and run virtual machines.

He meets Luz (Varela), a writer, who interviews him and sells his story online.  Rudy sees it, and is overcome with guilt.  He resolves to try to redeem himself and set matters straight.

This film is disturbing in its all-too-plausible vision of work and politics in the future.  The acting is low-key but passionate, and the visuals make the most of a small budget.  Very imaginative, and Rivera shows great potential.  Watch for more of his work.