Monday, December 13, 2010

Blog 19: Sleep Dealer

Sleep Dealer by filmmaker Alex Rivera is a movie that tells us the story of Memo, a young man from a small village in Mexico, who after his Father's death has to leave his town to go work in a bigger city so that he can support his family. The story takes place in a near future, where the advances in technology allow people to connect to a global network through implants called nodos. By connecting to a machine people are able to interact with robotic technologies and operate robots located in the U.S. This technology, developed for outsourcing jobs is a big advantage for the United States given that they still get the labor force they need without having foreigners in their soil.

Just like it happens nowadays, immigrants are still being exploited, the difference is that now to relief of the industrialized nations, workers can be enslaved within the boundaries of their own countries.

Some of the things I found interesting in this film is that it is a critic of society in the sense that technology can be very useful but on the other hand  it can also alienate human beings so much to the point that some day people would need to buy someone else's memories and pay to watch "real life experiences" lived by unknown people. Also  the approach on current immigration policies like the wall between Mexico and the U.S and how even though they are trying really hard to keep immigrants out of the country they still want the benefits of cheap labor.

I believe the reality portrayed in the movie is in many ways already happening in the present. The best example that comes to mind is the call center people who offer technical support to U.S customers when they are located thousands of miles away in India or Malaysia, another example would be the maquilas in Latin American countries or the sweatshops in China, where workers get paid really low wages to manufacture the products of American companies which will later charge the final costumer twenty times more than what it costs to make.

Recently there was a scandal in which Apple Computer was involved in worker's suicides. Foxconn the company that manufactures the IPods and IPhones was allegedly behind the strange deaths of some of their workers. Besides extremely low wages, the work loads, stress levels and constant pressure in which these people have to work is so much that some just can't take it and commit suicide. I think we could ask ourselves the same question that the author of "The $2 dollar Camisole" talks about; how much should some products be worth?. I believe the death of a human being is a price too high to pay for any product no matter what it is.

1 comment:

  1. This is a conceptually sophisticated,substantive and engaging analysis of the film and its connections to reality. Very good job!