The subversive allegorical drama that brought David Zonani the award for best Mexican debutante proved to be a completely unexpected, and very pleasant surprise. Immediately in the opening scene of “Workforce” or “Mano de obra” in the original, one of the workers on the construction of a fashionable house in an elite district of Mexico City unhappily dies. We only see him fall from a height and remain motionless, and his brother Francisco (Mexican Actor of the Year winner Luis Alberti) also works on the same construction site and wants his family to receive compensation for his death at random. A pregnant woman was left behind by the unfortunate builder, but their boss, who is also the owner of the house they are building, performed a maneuver, so the coroner wrote in a report that his brother was drunk at work.
There is no compensation, no truth, and at that point it seems that “Mano de Obra” could be one of those typical films in which a poor outsider tries to seek justice against much more powerful and richer types. But instead, this drama, shot in a typical naturalistic style, begins to unravel in a completely unexpected direction, and Francisco devises a completely different way of revenge. In the end, “Workforce” was actually an extraordinary provocation and a film that deals in an extremely original way with the theme of class differences, social inequality and injustice in general. At one point, when he realizes that no one will be held accountable for his brother’s death and that his boss and others are more or less fucked up for what happened and they continue to act like it’s the most normal thing, Francisco will come up with a completely unexpected revenge. .
He will move into the house under construction illegally, and very soon the head of the company he worked for, also the owner of the house, will die under suspicious circumstances. After settling in a house made by a single boss for himself, Francisco will realize that the house is too big for himself and will start turning it into a kind of commune where his former work colleagues with their families will settle. As their boss remained indebted to them and did not pay them for their work, Francisco was convinced they were entitled to it, and they found some strange lawyer who convinced them that there was a legal maneuver by which they could all register ownership of the house. Very quickly, this whole situation will turn into an almost absurd socialist experiment, and we will see to the end whether this utopia has any chance.
Zonan rounded off this unusual, subversive, twisted modern drama brilliantly, and “Mano de Obra” is both a critique of today’s capitalism and socialist ideas, because one of the messages that can be read is that both social systems are in fact the most common frauds. in which Francisco and people like him will always draw the thick end. An important role here is played by the house in the elite district of Mexico City, which will be inhabited by poor workers from bad neighborhoods who have probably lived in some potleušice and potholes. Somehow unnaturally all these people operate in this modern, square, designer-designed villa with a dozen rooms, swimming pools and everything that the rich usually put into their residences. All this seems strange from the beginning, full of contrasts and differences, and Francisco will almost turn from an average man angry at injustice and privileges that have higher classes into the same exploiter who decides to work exclusively for his own benefit.
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