The near future. Like tomorrow. In a world marked by closed borders, corporate warriors, and a global computer network, three strangers risk their lives to connect, break through the barriers of technology, and unseal their fates.
Set in a near-future, militarized world marked by closed borders, virtual labor and a global digital network that joins minds and experiences, three strangers risk their lives to connect with each other and break the barriers of technology. Written by
Wilhelm Scream - When man falls off of horse in the first sequence where Memo is watching TV (after "Are Your Nodes Dirty?") See more »
When Memo, at work operating the robot, helps the worker next to him who collapses, he is not wearing the contact lenses that he needs to operate the robot. (He did not have time to take them out.) See more »
The near future of remote manual work globalization
In the US we are inured to dealing with corporate service centers with call takers that speak barely understandable English. This form of remote cross border servicing is one of the characteristics of globalization of work made possible by the internet. What this film does is imagine the next logical step: the similar globalization of manual labor. By means of robotics and the WWW, the film depicts a world where robotic drones in the US do all kind of menial and dangerous work while the brains that control the drones sit or stand in a third world country. It's the ultimate dreamworld for the US of A: work without the annoyance of immigrants.
While the near-reality sci-fi concept is clever, the film itself screens as an Hollywood B-movie. The acting and plot development styles will be familiar to the popcorn-eating crowd that populates the local shopping mall multiplex. The special effects are not that impressive (not surprising considering a 2.5 million dollar budget). There is a dated Star Wars bit with planes shooting at each other while flying through a canyon. It's tiresome if you don't dig this kind of infantile action scenes.
On the positive side, the film is peppered with clever manipulation of language, satirical takes on American impressions of foreigners, jabs at the excesses of capitalism, and inspired blending of present and future. The "coyotes" of today have been replaced by "coyoteks" who will, for a fee, pierce your skin with the appropriate hardware plugs (called nodes) that will enable you to directly connect your body to the internet and to vie for a job at a cyber "maquiladora". If you get such a job, you will send some of your salary to poor relatives back home in the countryside. Money transfers have been simplified, but there are so many fees and surcharges (think of your cell phone bill) that one third of the principal is pilfered by corporations and the government.
You can read more about this subject of remote work at the faux website www.cybracero.com (read cyber plus "bracero"). Check it.
On the net, users have gone beyond sharing personal data. Now they upload memories (yes, sucked out of one's brain) to the TruNode central database and sell them to interested readers. While plugged in -- literally -- TruNode will even sense if you are lying. More interesting or juicy memories, more money. It's the hyper-commercialization and surrender of the human soul.
The ultimate target is the privatization of water. Alas a sad development currently in progress. In good Hollywood fashion, a successful attack is gathered against that idea. The dream of revolt is not dead. Cyber poor of the world, rise up!
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