Purgatorio: A Journey Into the Heart of the Border

Directed by Rodrigo Reyes

Year: 2013
Running Time: 80
Color Type: Color
Country: Mexico, U.S.
Language: Spanish, English (subtitled) [audio]
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Purgatorio: A Journey Into the Heart of the Border

Crew
Directed by Rodrigo Reyes


Reyes' provocative essay film re-imagines the Mexico/U.S. border as a mythical place comparable to Dante's purgatory. Leaving politics aside, he takes a fresh look at the brutal beauty of the border and the people caught in its spell. By capturing a stunning mosaic of compelling characters and broken landscapes that live on the US/Mexico border, the filmmaker reflects on the flaws of human nature and the powerful absurdities of the modern world. An unusual border film, in the auteur tradition of camerastylo, Purgatorio ultimately becomes a fable of humanity, an epic and visceral experience with powerful and lingering images.

Reviews

"A searing, horrifying, at times starkly beautiful documentary ode to the netherworlds surrounding the U.S.-Mexico barrier" Andrew Barker, Variety

"This haunting, beautifully photographed documentary presents the human side of its incendiary topic" Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

"An elegiac and cinematically shot poem filled with emotional narration and iconography" Christine Davila, IndieWIRE

"Specific and sublime." Cynthia Fuchs, Pop Matters

"Beautifully photographed, exquisitely crafted film with poetic overtones and a wide sweeping vision." Alan Berliner, Documentary Filmmaker



Awards

  • Jury Award for Best Documentary, NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL Jury Award for Best Documentary, THIS HUMAN WORLD Jury Award for Best Documentary, SAN DIEGO LATINO FILM FESTIVAL Michael Moore Award for Best Documentary, ANN ARBOR FILM FESTIVAL 25 New Faces of Independent Film, FILMMAKER MAGAZINE Finalist, HBO-NALIP AWARD

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