Maquilapolis: City Of Factories

Meet globalization personally at one of its major touchdown points: Tijuana, Mexico, also known as Maquilapolis (city of maquiladoras or sweatshops). This insightful look at the experiences of the smart, tough, hardworking and usually invisible women who work at these maquiladoras focus on two struggles. Lourdes and Yesenia work to clean up an abandoned factory site that is polluting the water while Carmen tries to win the severance pay owed to her by a transnational company. Without victimization or knee-jerk politics, the film spotlights the stories of women who want the chance to keep working under conditions that don’t poison the land and for a wage that allows them to feed their children. Through bold, imaginative imagery—video diaries, interviews, visits to homes and hulking factories—we see the costs of globalization. Stop motion photography and vivid symbols (color-coded uniforms in slow-motion close-up, representing the reduction of life to menial toil) are some of the ways reportage becomes reflection and statement. The filmmakers worked with a trans-border rights organization for years to get the film made (—Pat Aufderheide, Tribeca Film Festival). Directed by Vicky Funari and Sergio De La Torre. Produced by Darcy McKinnon and Annelise Wunderlich.

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