In The Pit (4 stars)

In The Pit

Documentary explores lives of Mexico City labourers

(E) 84min

Exploring the thoughts, feelings and labour activity of workers in Mexico City who are employed in building a new second-deck motorway around the capital, Juan Carlos Rulfo’s film manages to give individuality to a handful of Mexico City’s 15 million inhabitants, no matter the anonymity of the work they happen to do. Rulfo is as much interested in their individual philosophies as their functional role. How do they manage to hold on to their souls in a potentially soulless environment (where, as Mexican legend has it, for every bridge built the devil asks for one soul to ensure that it doesn’t collapse)? As we’re privy to the workers’ thoughts, we hear one diminutive figure saying he does a bit of everything work-wise and then later insists all he worries about is work and food. Someone else talks of liking the night more than the day; a third insists ‘you can get used to anything except work. Nobody gets used to work’. Beautifully concluding on a gliding overhead shot of the work so far done, we may wonder what the human price has been. Extras include making-of featurette.

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