IBLAS Talks Film– Lecturers from the Iberian and Latin American Studies department of the University of Liverpool present a series of films & talks from the wide Luso-Hispanic world that address historical and contemporary issues.
As part of Iberian and Latin American Week, the University of Liverpool’s annual celebration of the Luso-Hispanic world and its cultures, Dr Niamh Thornton (head of Iberian and Latin American Studies and head of the Americas Studies Network) will introduce Sleep Dealer (Alex Rivera, 2008). After the screening Dr Thornton will chair a discussion with Dr Alex Balch, (Dept of Politics, University of Liverpool and member of the Forced Labour Monitoring Group) and Dr Catherine Leen (National University of Ireland, Maynooth) on the issues and themes this film explores.
SLEEP DEALER is a Science Fiction film set in the near future and imagines a world where the Mexican-US border is completely closed and Mexican workers carry out labour in the US using remote controlled machinery and drones.
What seemed like a fantastical and extreme thought experiment in the film has been seriously proposed by the US Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump. He regularly leads his supporters in chants to, “Build that wall” and has said that if he is successful he will erect a wall between the two countries. This film explores US-Mexican relations and their interdependency as well as issues around unfree and forced labour.
This screening and discussion takes place a week before the US presidential elections and will provide much food for thought. We have been given special permission to show the film by the director, it was a sleeper hit, but has not had a general release in the UK.