Coming to The WORLD Channel’s America Reframed series tonight, Tuesday, January 6: PURGATORIO
Rodrigo Reyes’ meditation on the US/Mexico border debuted at Guadalajara in 2013. It went on to screen at Los Angeles, New Orleans, Ann Arbor, San Diego Latino, Chicago, Documentary Fortnight, and Traverse City, among others.
Reimagining the dangerous, expansive, and heavily politicized border between America and its southern neighbors as the middle, purifying realm in Dante’s allegorical DIVINE COMEDY, Reyes dispenses with explicit rhetoric in this essay film to instead present a series of snapshots of life along this limbo region. To the South, there is poverty, violence, drugs, and crime – a general sense of lawlessness pervades. To the North, there’s a dogged focus on the border, from those who would try to help desperate, thirsty people making the treacherous journey, to their opposing number, who make it their mission to remove any potential aid. Despite this confrontation with such bleakness, the film’s haunting camerawork is able to find beauty where the viewer would least expect.