I’m not that into sci-fi flicks—in fact, the only reason I will watch Star Trek next month is because Chris Pine, who plays Captain Kirk, is super hot. Well, OK, Zoe Saldana is also in it and I have to support the movement. But when I watched last year’s Sundance favorite Sleep Dealer, hitting theaters tomorrow (New York and L.A. only) and also available on-demand, I fell in love with it.
Sleep Dealer is so much more than a sci-fi flick; it’s got heart, and it explores several important themes, including immigration, globalization, the corporate ownership of water, and technology. The movie, which writer and director Alex Rivera started working on back in 1997, takes place in a not-too-distant future, when America has sealed and fully militarized the border. Laborers have been replaced by “sleep dealers,” or workers who are connected to U.S. factories via nodes. The procedure to get this done is called a “node job” and people try to sell it to you on the street for cheap. The star of the film is Luis Fernando Peña as a young man named Memo who ventures into Tijuana from his small Mexican village of Santa Ana del Rio seeking labor. Once there, he meets a pretty girl named Luz (Leonor Varela) who sells life memories online (including Memo’s, but he doesn’t know that going into the relationship, of course). What’s scary is that this crazy scenario may be entirely too possible—and sooner than we think.
Seriously, though, I can’t rave about this movie enough. It’s so good, even Guillermo del Toro dug it. Check out the trailer below: