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18 days to watch
8.0
/10
483 Ratings

Workers

Directed by José Luis Valle
Mexico, Germany, 2013
Comedy, Drama

Synopsis

After a whole life of work at Tijuana, Rafael and Lidia are victims of injustice against their rights and dignity: Rafael learns that due to a paperwork mistake, he will not be entitled to his retirement pension. And Lidia, she finds out that her employers will leave the entire heirloom to the dog.

Our take

The fiction debut from Chile-born director José Luis Valle, this deadpan comedy is an impressive masterclass in emotional subtlety and sense of timing. Minimalist in capturing the inner worlds of each character, Workers offers a biting, urgent commentary on the alienating ethics of modern labor.

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Critics reviews

A remarkable debut with delicately composed visuals and subtle emotional restraint.
June 18, 2013
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Valle’s deadpan comedy demonstrates a master image-maker at work.
May 01, 2013
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What are people saying?

  • maria carusone's rating of the film Workers

    Questo film mi è piaciuto tantissimo!!! Vi ho trovato qualcosa in comune con il sopravvalutato (a mio parere) “Parasite” di Bong John-ho... forse quest’ultimo, più recente è pubblicizzato, ha trattato spunto da questa emozionante e delicata opera di riscatto?

  • Artyom Yakovlev's rating of the film Workers

    It’s a perfectly orchestrated film of outstanding beauty. It’s unique, refined and silently melancholic tone helps treat serious subjects with remarkable dignity, turning the mundane situations upside down and taking them to the level of extreme weirdness, thus creating a powerful social commentary and delivering a strong message. The film’s slow pace suits it very well as it shows the real absurdity of our life.

  • nica's rating of the film Workers

    Freaking fantastic. Has the vibe of Greek New Wave but plays itself into a happy ending / justice. Absolutely in love with this. Will definitely check out more of José Luis Valle’s work!

  • Noli Manaig's rating of the film Workers

    Metaphors, sometimes, pack the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Take a dog's statue at a rich mansion; a weary, old body with horrible tattoos; topiaries more manicured than the gardener. Elsewhere, restraint, as in the workers' indignity & precarity, which bide their time in a dialectic. As such this "oikonimia" entails finesse instead of brute force. The metteur-en-scene is up to the task. This fine work has panache.

  • Michael H. CLAES's rating of the film Workers

    6/5 stars for this great film, proof of the talent & the vitality of Mexican cinema. Too bad that MUBI's pitch again deflores the story especially as the interest of the film exceeds the subject. == 6/5 étoiles à ce film de très grande valeur, qui témoigne du talent & de la vitalité du cinéma mexicain. Encore 1 pitch de MUBI qui déflore l'histoire, dommage d'autant que l'intérêt du film dépasse largement le sujet.

  • joanra's rating of the film Workers

    Una película sobre una perrita que nace en la opulencia y muere en la más mísera ignominia. A ratos me recordaba la película "Los olvidados" de Buñuel pero en versión animal. Drama ecléptico, fotografía sublime y una tonalidad ocre que es el verdadero protagonista del film. El cine mexicano hace tiempo que está un poco por encima en cuanto a la profundidad de las historias que cuenta. Abstenerse animalistas.

  • JohnTM's rating of the film Workers

    Contemplativa, crítica, melancólica e irónica. Cualidades de esta cinta que el director reúne de manera astuta e impecable. Dos mexicanos en ambos lados de la frontera quienes reclaman dignidad como trabajadores y seres humanos. Joya del cine nacional de ésta década.

  • paul oram's rating of the film Workers

    A slow pan of the Mexican/US border fence extending into the Pacific both introduces and concludes the films essential premise. At the beginning we see a wife talking through the barrier from the Mexican side; her child in tow. At the end we see the migrant worker, her husband, from the US side. The same ocean of course, but a world apart - just another struggling family in this mad, fractured world we've created.

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