Mano de Obra
82 minutes, Color
The tragedy that sets off events in this film happens in a flash: A man, Claudio, falls to his death on a building site. Also in a flash, crew foreman and owner alike want to erase the incident and move on. But Claudio's brother, Francisco, pursues justice and revenge by secretly moving from his squalid, rain-soaked digs into the partially built house and when the owner mysteriously dies, inviting his "brothers" on the crew to join him. As more and more families move in, the film builds, almost Buñuel-like, on its contradictions—between extreme wealth and extreme poverty; between idealized space and what happens when real people inhabit it; between aspiration and temptation. Like the pure lines and surfaces of the modernist house, first-time director David Zonana's spare approach to a freighted subject has lacunae built in, spurring our imaginations to fill in the details.—Judy Bloch
In Spanish with English subtitles
Trailers may not have subtitles but all of our foreign language films do.
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