Lauren, an impassioned American reporter for the Chicago Sentinel heads to Juarez, a Mexican bordertown, in order to investigate a series of mysterious slayings involving young factory women from all over Mexico. As she discovers hundreds of victims, she gains the trust of local factory workers but falls into danger. Written by
A "maquiladora" or "maquila" is a Mexican term for a factory operating in a free trade zone which import raw materials and equipment under tariff-free and duty-free conditions then export back to the country which they imported from. The factories are involved in a number of commercial activities including assembly, processing and manufacturing. See more »
It isn't free trade! It's slave trade! It's a goddamn scam, and everybody is making too much money to give a shit about these women!
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This is not the kind of movie I usually see, and I must admit that while watching it on TV, I gradually realized that it was not the documentary film I expected. The story is based on a horrifying and tragic reality of raping and killing of women on the Mexican border, of which I did not know anything, as underreported throughout the world. The movie has so the laudable merit of bringing to light and denouncing the terrifying drama of thousands of women being raped and disappeared in those waste lands, working in those appalling "maquilladoras", where even the most basic human rights are completely disregarded, and where deep economic interests prevail over respect for human dignity. However, as the story progressed, I realized it was more an action-thriller than a documentary picture, standing out for gripping though improbable, twists, a tense and quick pace, intertwined with some more relaxed and relaxing moments, which appear as really improbable and above all of bad taste and out of place if we consider the grave topic of the movie. It is as if that worthy aim gives way to more entertaining and market needs. So my doubt was: how can such a highly committed movie be bent to the logic of the box-office? How can you shift your attention from scenes of rape of terrifying violence to the underlining of J. Lo's perfect silhouette? It is evident that the production aimed at attracting audience through an attractive cast and some shrewd devices, such as pacing action, a thriller-plot, sentimental flash-backs, some entertaining music, thus losing its seriousness and credibility. I watched it till the end, because it was gripping and, like all thriller movies, you want to know how it ends up, but I realize this is not the reason why I should have wanted to see it till the end, and in this sense I think it is, in the end, a failed movie.
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