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Sleep Dealer
     

Sleep Dealer

Director: Alex Rivera

Cast: Luis Fernando Peña, Leonor Varela, Jacob Vargas

 

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In a bleak future where the borders have been sealed, vast computer networks commodify memories, and corporate warriors have been militarized, a tech-savvy "campesino" from a small Santa Ana farm village discovers a mysterious transmission that seems to be a blueprint for the city of the future. Memo Cruz lives with his family in Santa Ana del Rio, a remote farming

Overview

In a bleak future where the borders have been sealed, vast computer networks commodify memories, and corporate warriors have been militarized, a tech-savvy "campesino" from a small Santa Ana farm village discovers a mysterious transmission that seems to be a blueprint for the city of the future. Memo Cruz lives with his family in Santa Ana del Rio, a remote farming community that has recently been hijacked by a private company. Having already taken control of the entire area's water supply, the company is now seeking to sell the precious resource back to citizens at criminal prices. As a result, aqua-terrorist cells have recently formed, with the explicit goal of taking back the water supply by force if necessary. Despite the growing tension in Santa Ana, however, all Memo really cares about is technology. Memo longs to find employment as a node worker in the high-tech factories of the northern cities, and has recently constructed a transmitter that allows him to vicariously experience the lives of others. One evening, while surfing the local airwaves, the gifted eavesdropper locks onto a forbidden broadcast not intended for the general public -- a broadcast that lays out explicit plans for creating a future that Memo could have never imagined. Subsequently targeted by the government -- which has discovered evidence of his radio intercept and now views him as a direct threat -- Memo must flee to Tijuana after his home is destroyed in a violent remote-control bombing. Memo hopes to find work in Tijuana, and along the way he meets aspiring journalist Luz, a bright young woman in search of her breakthrough story. Later, after selling some of her memories online to a mysterious client, Luz helps Memo acquire the nodes he needs to connect to the network and get a job. As Memo plugs his body into the system and discovers that work in a high-tech factory can be fairly treacherous, Luz works to uncover the identity of her biggest fan, and these three unsuspecting individuals become caught up in a plot that could transform their world forever.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The 2004 film A Day Without a Mexican took a satirical look at where the U.S. would be without Mexican labor. Alex Rivera's Sleep Dealer almost functions as its non-satirical science fiction cousin -- maybe "A Day When Mexicans Remotely Control Labor Robots." An overworked Tijuana-based labor force that operates worker robots in the U.S. virtually is just one of Rivera's bold visions of a possible future -- most of which are refreshingly unindebted to other films, even though The Matrix in particular was evoked in the film's ad campaign. Many of the characters in Sleep Dealer do have metal nodes grafted to their back and arms at various junctures, à la The Matrix. But writer-director Rivera takes this similar imagery in his own direction, allowing for cutting-edge commentary on the closing of borders between the U.S. and Mexico, hypersensitivity toward terrorism, Internet obsession, the future scarcity of water, and our fascination with ever-more-debased reality TV. Our guide through this world is Memo (Luis Fernando Peña), a Oaxacan farmer's son who moves to the big city for the most common of reasons: he needs to send money back to his family, after being inadvertently to blame for his father's death. Memo is quiet, dignified, and easy to identify with. There's plenty else Rivera fits in, including a romantic subplot with a would-be writer (Leonor Varela) who's using the nodes and cables to sell her memories on the black market. Sleep Dealer won't be mistaken for a Hollywood release, but that's probably a good thing, as it maintains a distinctly Mexican character while offering special effects with enough Hollywood polish to make the grade. The cool score by Tomandandy also deserves special praise. But maybe it's Rivera's ideas that truly set him apart from Hollywood -- namely, the fact that he has some.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/08/2009
UPC:
0812034010982
Original Release:
2008
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Maya Home Ent
Sound:
[Dolby Digital]
Time:
1:30:00

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Luis Fernando Peña Memo Cruz
Leonor Varela Luz Martinez
Jacob Vargas Rudy Ramirez
Tenoch Huerta Mejía David Cruz
Meztli Adamina Dolores Cruz
Jose Concepión Macías Miguel Cruz
Giovanna Zacarias Bertha
Emilio Guerrero Ricki
Norma Pablo Lupe
Roberto Reyes Antonio
Guillermo Rios Rudy's Supervisor
Andaluz Russell Angie Ramírez
Jorge Zepeda Rodolfo Ramírez

Technical Credits
Alex Rivera Director,Editor,Original Story,Screenwriter
Miguel A. Alvarez Production Designer
Anthony Bregman Producer
Julie Carr Editor
Adela Cortázar Costumes/Costume Designer
Lynn Fainchtein Musical Direction/Supervision
Madeleine Gavin Editor
Peter Klimt Executive Producer
Eric Mendelsohn Editor
Guy Naggar Executive Producer
David Riker Screenwriter
Lisa Rinzler Cinematographer
Manuel Teil Casting
Tomandandy Score Composer

Scene Index

Audio commentary; "Before the Making of" documentary

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