2019 TIFF Movie Review: WORKFORCE (Mano de Obra) (Mexico 2019) ***

Workforce Poster

After the death of one of his co-workers, Francisco and a group of builders will seek justice not only for the null compensation received by the owner of the house, but also for a life full of worries, contrasts and oppression.


David Zonana


David Zonana

‘The plight of the abused and underpaid Mexican worker” is the theme in David Zonana’s extremely watchable debut feature.  A construction worker , Claudio falls to his death tragically while on the job, prompting his brother, Francisco  (the film’s protagonist) and widow to seek justice on their own terms.   Director is himself born in Mexico City where the story is set.  

Their grief shifts to fury when medical tests allegedly indicate there was alcohol in Claudio’s system. Claudio never drank.  However, by claiming he was intoxicated on the job, the house’s owner evades responsibility and the need to pay Claudio’s widow.  Francisco watches and grasps for an opportune moment in all this.  When the owner suddenly dies, Francisco takes control and moves into the house and brings in other families.  

Nothing is what it seems as the craftily told tale unfolds.  Director Zonana demonstrates both the corrupt business systems in place and the extreme that human beings will go in order to survive with a bang-on surprise ending.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pax-3qjc5WI