Artists' Television Access

‘Maquilapolis’ (City of Factories)

A.N.S.W.E.R. Film Series for International Women's Day

Thursday, March 8, 2007, 7:30 pm, $6


“Many consider the U.S.-Mexico border to be ‘the laboratory of the future.’ In Maquilapolis the border is also the site where global capitalism is facing profound resistance. The maquiladora workers are neither helpless victims nor dupes of neo-liberal capitalism, but rather social actors in the full sense of the word” — Rosa-Linda Fregoso, UCSC

Carmen Durán works the graveyard shift at one of Tijuana’s 800 maquiladoras; she is one of millions of women around the world who labor for poverty level wages in the factories of transnational corporations. When the plant where Carmen worked for six years moved to Indonesia, they try to avoid paying the legally mandated severance pay to which they were entitled by law. Carmen becomes a promotora, a grassroots activist, challenging the usual illegal tactics of the powerful transnationals.

The filmmakers gave several women workers in Tijuana video cameras to make a record of their lives, giving the documentary the intimate feel of video diaries. Lourdes Lujan takes us on a tour of her colonia, Chilpancingo, which has the bad fortune to be located under a bluff from which dozens of factories expel hazardous wastes. But Lourdes and her compañeras successfully pressure the Mexican and American governments to clean up a toxic waste site left behind by a departing battery recycling plant. 68min., 2006

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