Film Review: THE NINTH OVEN (Mexico). Documentary

Played at the November 2016 Best of Short Documentary FEEDBACK Film Festival.

  MOVIE POSTERTHE NINTH OVEN, 10min., Mexico, Documentary
Directed by Erika Oregel

A boy of 14 years is living his last years childhood before having 15 years; years in which is legal to work in Mexico. He has been working illegaly since 9 years old to work and get a living with his grandmother.

REVIEW by Kierston Drier: 

The Ninth Oven, a short, stunning piece hailing from Mexico, follows a young boy and his journey through the illegal work he does to help support his family. Our hero, a spirited teenager, has juggled school, studying and working as a brick maker since the age of nine. Illegal though it is to be employed so young, our protagonists approaches his situation with admirable maturity.

The Ninth Oven has an unassuming charm about it. It’s approach to the realities of life in the rural area are looked at through the eyes of our young male lead. As such, the larger political and economic issues connected to child labour are subtle- a microscopic view of a larger social issue. Through the lense of the hero nothing seems abnormal. His bright and effervescent optimism is a constant source of pride to his family and loved ones. His dedication to his family, his work and his future easily tug the heartstrings of any audience. The Ninth Oven takes a look at child labor from the perspective of the laborer who does not see their work as a cross to bear- but a challenge they must rise to. It is impossible not to like our hero, as he explains he does not desire a life of wealth or affluence- he only wants to have enough to be happy. A nobel and astute goal for someone so young.

 

Brightly shot, The Ninth Oven is a beautifully woven story that makes us imagine what it is like to live in other parts of the world and that adulthood is rarely a matter of chronological age.

 

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