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Workforce

Mano de obra

Produced by Michel Franco, this gripping tale focuses on construction site workers who take matters into their own hands when their bosses ignore their requests.

Dir-Scr David Zonana
Prod Michel Franco, David Zonana, Eréndira Núñez Larios
With Luis Alberti, Hugo Mendoza, Jonathan Sánchez
Mexico
2019
82min
Sales Wild Bunch
With English subtitles

Nothing is quite what is seems in David Zonana’s extraordinary feature debut. From the dynamic opening to its detailed mapping of the complex interrelations that govern the building site where plasterer Pacheco works on the renovation of a luxury home, this complex study of human behaviour juxtaposes altruism and opportunism with unexpected consequences. Zonana manages to construct a deeply political film about exploitative labour practices that avoids any easy answers. Employing a cast of largely non-professional performers – the filmmaker spent several months collaborating with bricklayers and plasterers to develop the piece – Workforce benefits from a real sense of lived-in authenticity. The result increasingly echoes Buñuelian cinema – disquieting, original and hugely timely – where human nature is put under the cinematic scalpel.

Maria Delgado

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