Title: Maquilapolis


Directors: Vicky Funari and Sergio De La Torre

Released in 2006, Maquilapolis details the struggles of women working for $11 per day in factories on the US-Mexico border. The film employs participatory techniques to give its subjects, the women working in the factories, their own voice in the film; Funari and De La Torre taught the workers how to use video cameras and gave them camcorder to record their experiences in the factories and in their neighborhoods. The film exposes the insidious aspects of globalization and shows how these factories exploit their workers and destroy the environment. In particular it shows how the factories disrupt the ecology of the neighborhoods they move into; examples include the stream becoming too polluted to swim in and poor installation of electrical wires leading to children being electrocuted. The film also acts in the performative mode, using choreographed scenes and audio layering to show how

Despite these awful conditions, Maquilapolis details these women organizing to attempt to limit the power of the factories in their communities and achieve fairer wages. The participatory mode of the film situates the filmmakers with the factory workers in the struggle against the corporations, and in this way the film itself acts as both a document of the struggle and an ethical engagement with exploitative economic conditions.

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