VIDEO: The trailer for Sleep Dealer
Just when you thought Mexican cinema had lost its edge with films like Rudo y Cursi, along comes an ambitious and intelligent offering like this dystopic fable from Alex Rivera. Sometime in the future of globalization, multi-corporations own all the water, and the poor of the Third World — if they're lucky — serve as virtual labor, linked into the system in sweatshops via "nodes" by which they operate drones in cities far away. It's The Matrix with a nod to Das Kapital — or, as one character puts it, "the American dream: labor without the laborers."
For Memo (Luis Fernando Peña), however, this "connection" provides an escape from his parched (thanks to the dam) village. He heads to Tijuana, where he falls for Luz (Leonor Varela), a "writer" who records and sells her memories on-line. And when she sells her memories of Memo, there are unintended consequences.
Although melodramatic and with second-rate f/x, Dealer is wide awake in its wit and savvy.