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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A Rich View Into A Poor World

Author: vermagic from New York
16 August 2004

Dirt has it all - humor, pathos, sex, love, triumph and defeat. In short - it is the human story - one we all share, told in a compelling plot that draws you in from the first frame and keeps you going until the last. It is an immigrant story, to be sure, but it's power lies in it's ability to entertain and engage while exposing the often sad and difficult life of Central Americans working illegally in the US.

You will leave this picture feeling as if you have made new friends - and you will never look at a "cleaning lady" the same way. You will want to spend more time with your new friends and you will recognize a bit of yourself in them. It is not always easy to create a work that combines pathos with comedy - but Dirt does the job seamlessly. I hope Showtime releases this film so more people can see it.

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Maid in Manhattan

Author: jotix100 from New York
5 October 2005

Nancy Savoca, the tremendously talented director, surprises with this film in which she tackles a problem that is so prevalent, yet one hardly hears about it: illegal workers. In this case a maid, trying to make ends meet by working long hours doing what most of her wealthy clients will not do, cleaning and maintaining order in their homes, while pursuing their complicated lives.

Dolores is a Salvadoran woman who has entered the country illegally. She lives in Queens with her husband and son. We watch Dolores going through her daily routine cleaning an apartment of a rich family. Her daily life also include cleaning other richly decorated homes of the rich folks in Manhattan.

"Dirt" raises a lot of questions about the life of the people that are living illegally in the country and how they must struggle to stay afloat. These people are basically survivors because they must do what others don't want to do. Most illegal workers never receive the wages they deserve for the jobs they do.

Nancy Savoca and Richard Guay have written an extraordinary film. Our hearts go after Dolores, a good soul who wants to save for the dream house she is building in El Salvador, where the family will live eventually. The problems with raising her own son is also seen as one of the thorns in these immigrants sides because they are young and vulnerable and many will end up facing the law.

Julieta Ortiz as Dolores does a fabulous job in her portrayal of the Salvadoran woman who is going through a rough period in her life in America. The large, unknown cast, is excellent, but one must single out the charming Yvette Mercedes, who plays Dolores best friend.

Ms. Savoca achieves another triumph with this film that will be an eye opener for many viewers and how they perceive these poor people caught in what they thought would be their American dream.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Dirt delivers

Author: johno-21 from United States
2 February 2006

I saw Dirt when it played at the 2005 Palm Springs International film Festival and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It somehow sounded interesting with it's single four letter word title and reading a brief synopsis on it I took a chance on it and it didn't take me long to realize that it was a good film. This isn't a big movie but it has a lot going for it thanks to it's Director Nancy Savoca. It does have that documentary feel about it. Julieta Ortiz as Delores is fantastic as the El Salvadoran woman working as a maid in the New York City and struggling to keep her life and family together while she keeps her eye on her goal of building a house back in her home country. Good character development in this movie. A lot of good humor found here too. I would rate it a 7.5 out of a possible 10 and recommend it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

lead actress is great!

Author: marbleann from Houston
1 November 2005

I saw this movie on cable. I thought it was a documentary, but as soon as the credits came on I saw it wasn't. The movie is about people who are not citizens and where they work. Simple as that. This movie concentrates on a woman from El Salvador named Delores who is a cleaning woman for various upscale New Yorkers. Most of them seem to live in the same apartment building, but I am not really sure. One of her employers is a Latino as herself, whose wife decides to run for office. I knew what was coming when I heard that. She carries his secrets with her, like him bringing his girlfriends to the apartment when his wife is gone. He has a neighbor who is a nut who complains about everything. She also just started to work for this very eccentric woman who has made her sons room into a photo gallery, where every inch of the walls are covered with photos. She to me was the nicest person she worked for. Delores also has a husband and son who lives with her in a apartment in Queens. Her husband got fired because of a neighbors husband. So he has to find another job, because they are sending money back home for this house they are building.

Normally the women have a network that is like a employment agency run usually by a woman who is legal and has been here for years. These women get jobs through them and they pay these women a percentage of their salary for a few months. These women know who are looking for workers and are willing to pay under the table. If you saw the scene in which Delores asks a man who just lost his housekeeper for a job and he finally tells her he has to document his paying people is a scene that would never happen in real life. Because all of these cleaning women, companions, maids know each other especially if they are working in the same building and they would know if he hired illegals. These women are living here illegally they are not going to open themselves up to getting caught. What she would do is use word of mouth or go to the woman who found her a job when she first came here. Most likely she knew she had a job before she even came into the country.

Also as I said before it is very rare to see a women with her husband and child. Just like it is rare to see a man who is illegal with his wife and child. Most of the women if they are married their husband is still home and they have a job and their children go to school there. People need to understand how hard it is for most of these women to come here without their child and husband. I think this movie wasted a good chance in showing that hardship.

Also Delores was doing fairly well. She had a apartment, her husband and child were here. And she could speak English very well.

Yes a lot of women have relatives here but they are usually cousins, aunts, uncles and maybe a sibling. But the sibling is usually living in the same circumstances. Most of these women cannot afford apartments and a lot of them are sleep ins. She went home every night. Also a lot of people only pay them maybe 100.00 a week, some give no days off at all. These women have no recourse so they are taken advantage of. I think this is another very important issue that happens more often then what happened to her husband, that the director should have touched on.

Another thing a lot of these women are living comfortably in their native country and they are educated. I think she touched on that a little in this movie. People treat some of these women badly because they think they have nothing, where a lot of times they are doing OK.

I liked the way that in the movie we saw Delores had a nice truck and her house was almost completed, and her family had a little money. All in all the movie was good. I love the lead actress, she hasn't been in another movie since, and that is a waste. She is excellent. I wanted to smack the son and the guy who played her husband was OK. I also liked they way they showed how Latinos of different races get along very well. I wish we saw that with Americans more. It was a nice touch.

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Author: Vernon from Australia
30 September 2007

I really came across this movie by accident, and was totally amazed to discover that such a movie existed, and that is being aired in countries like Australia. The story, written in a documentary-like style, portrays the every day struggles of an illegal immigrant, having to face such difficult issues as finding a job, the imminent threat of being expelled from the country, trying to raise a child in the midst of all their issues, the crisis of identity and the longing for home, if such a place exists.

It is such a good movie in the way that presents "the other side of the story", the story of all those ones who leave their country and go chase the American dream, leaving everything behind, having to face so much struggles, and understanding that mainly because of them poor Latin American economies (such as El Salvador) are still able to subsist from all the money coming back from United States, from all those ones like Dolores who fight for a better future for their offspring and their beloved ones back home.

"Dirt" is the story of the people who no-one seem to care, the misunderstood ones, the ones without any identity, the ones always hiding, the ones that suffer so much...yet human beings, as you and me...

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Author: andriacorrea from United States
15 October 2005

Excellent story, Julieta Ortiz brought this movie to life and had me crying like a baby. All of the characters in this movie were very well depicted. These events do happen, sadly more than we even know. Julia is an excellent actress, and gave a very real peek into a day in the life of an immigrant housekeeper. This movie is dramatic, funny, and heart-wrenching. This is definitely a must see movie. If you are from a Hispanic family you will definitely become engrossed in this film. Daily issues touched on in this movie are things that have actually been said or done at home. The thing that honestly touched me at the end of the movie is the work done by Julieta Ortiz, I cannot say enough about her performance in this move. I hope to see more from her, I felt like I was looking in her window and watching her life.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

deep and meaningful movie that the very rich should see

Author: lauriestrock from United States
13 October 2005

People are still moving to the US for religious, social and monetary freedom, as our great great grandfathers had. This little peek into the "new immigrant's" lives is interesting and sad.

I think the problem is, many people who have seen this movie, like myself, are of like-mindedness, and they know what it is like to be struggling. . . That the extraordinarily wealthy (that there are so many more of these days), have no idea what these people go through. They don't know that these people penetrate their lives silently, an invisible population who are paid, but not paid attention to.

I really enjoyed this movie. It was simple, yet informational. I suggest it highly and believe that there are many people like the main character of Delores, who are fighting for their lives and their children's lives for survival in big cities all over the US.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

OK for those who speak Mexican

Author: trishgoody-1 from South Australia
29 September 2007

I never finished watching this movie because I found it slow going and hard to follow with most of the dialogue in either Mexican or heavy Mexican accent, which is fine if you speak it or are used to the language. (At 1.30am a movie needs to be a little more interesting & easy to watch to command attention).

The other problem which didn't help was that my TV guide had the synopsis wrong - it was for a totally different movie, so I had no idea what this movie was meant to be about. This is why I came to IMDb after giving up watching, to look up and read others comments to find out what it was about and if I actually missed anything! Thank goodness for IMDb - it is only after reading the others comments that I could get a sense of the bigger picture of the story.

Without the benefit of being able to understand any language other than English (& a few French words), I found it hard to watch and frustrating not knowing what the actors were saying for the majority of the movie. Subtitles would have helped immensely.

Unfortunately, while I sympathise with the plight of the main character, I did not find it compelling watching.

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