"Sweatshops of the Future?"
What You Need To Know:
SLEEP DEALER is intriguing. The concept of virtual sweatshops is unique. Also, the acting is strong, and the directing very sure. There is very little immoral content in this, except for one depicted bedroom scene, which is mixed with psychedelic memory images from commingling of people’s computer nodes. There is no mention of God, however, even when talking of life and death issues. Some anti-capitalist themes accompany this humanism, but the movie expresses solid sentiments in support of family ties. MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong caution, especially because of the sex scene.
(H, B, Acap, L, V, SS, N, A, M) Light humanist worldview with no mention of God and some anti-capitalist themes but solid moral sentiments supporting the importance of family; three obscenities, no profanities; man shot with missile and explosions; depicted sexual scene intermixed with high tech memory images; upper male nudity; drinking of beer; no smoking; and, deception, militaristic government.
SLEEP DEALER is a Mexican science fiction drama set a few years in the future where Memo, a young man, leaves his rural world to work for a “sleep dealer,” a futuristic sweatshop where workers “virtually” manipulate robots in the US. Memo has a data port node inserted into his body that allows him to operate a robot on a skyscraper in America. Memo is desperate to provide for his family but the dream of coming to America is no longer an option because the border is closed. But with the new technology, he can work for American companies without leaving Tijuana.
Memo meets up with Luz, a writer with whom he begins to fall in love. Using body nodes, she is able to upload her memories with commentary in a futuristic version of a blog that others download for a fee. She uploads her memories with Memo. Later, he discovers this and feels betrayed.
Overarching the personal story is the militaristic Mexican government that has dammed the river in Memo’s hometown and now sells the water by the gallon. Memo’s father held on to the farm as long as he could even with the dam. Through a set of circumstances, a security drone kills Memo’s father; but, in the end, Memo is able to destroy the dam, restoring water to the small village.
SLEEP DEALER is very well made and covers many themes. The story is intriguing and the concept of the virtual sweatshops is unique. The acting is strong and the directing very sure. It hooks you in because the rural world is like our present world, but the city world is a glimpse into a plausible future.
The movie’s theme is that the oppressed sweat shop workers will always be oppressed. They do make good money for the Sleep Dealer but it comes with the price of eventual permanent health damage.
Another theme is the desire for all things virtual and yet the enduring value of what’s “real.” A character comments to Memo that he came from the farm where he actually got to touch something that is real. In the city world, however, even relationships are virtual with the help of the computerized nodes.
There is very little objectionable in this, mostly one scene of depicted sex, which is mixed with memory images from the commingling of people’s computer nodes. There is no mention of God in this future, however, even when talking of life and death issues. Some anti-capitalist themes accompany this humanism, but the movie also expresses solid sentiments in support of family ties.
Science fiction fans may find this movie interesting, but MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution, especially because of the depicted bedroom scene.