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Alex Rivera, 2008
USA | Spanish with English subtitles | 90 minutes
Special retrospective screening, director Alex Rivera in person for Q&A!
Alex Rivera’s debut feature introduced Film Society audiences to an exciting new voice at New Directors/New Films in 2008. Five years later, on the eve of its re-release by the filmmaker himself, we are delighted to present once more this work of not-quite-science-fiction. Sometime in the near future, big corporations control the water supply and international borders are truly airtight. In a Mexican village, Memo, a young man who loves to tinker with technology, hacks into the wrong system and finds himself in big trouble. When he runs off to a border town, he finds a job and a girl—but no guarantee of a happy ending.
In Sleep Dealer, Rivera has created a chilling scenario that is not so far-fetched. With the look and energy of a futuristic computer game, the film treats us to a world where migrant workers’ nervous systems are plugged into a global network, allowing them to do menial jobs in the U.S. for the same low wages but without setting foot north of the border. This thrilling ride is also a chilling indictment of global capitalism and a look at the lost promises of the world wide web.