Movie: In the Pit
My Rating: 2 stars
This was an interesting enough documentary. It follows the lives of a handful of the construction workers laboring on the monumental project of building Mexico City’s Periférico freeway. It’s a huge task—one with no end in sight for the workers involved. So, these guys don’t even have the satisfaction of seeing it all come together into one complete project. The work is hard, dangerous, and dirty. And, of course, there’s the complete chaos that comes from bureaucracy butting heads with government corruption. It’s very disheartening. But, the men who were hired to do this work try not to get discouraged, and take the job one day at a time. The documentary is about living your life, and trying to make the best of a difficult situation.
I didn’t really like how this documentary was structured. It was a little too loose and directionless for me. But, it did offer a fascinating glimpse into the wide variety of different personalities that get into this type of work in a struggling nation. Sometimes, we think of all construction workers as being the same kind of guy, but the men in this film really couldn’t be more different from one another. There’s the family man who lives in a nice home with his wife and kids, and he works hard to provide for them. Then, there are the young guys who just want to drum up a little extra cash so that they can have fun—like the equestrian whose passion is horses, and who only does this work to bankroll that expensive lifestyle. But, the most heartbreaking of all, is the lonely, little homeless man. He lives in a primitive, little shed that he’s built himself, so he doesn’t have regular access to electricity or plumbing. His hygiene suffers accordingly, and this only serves to alienate him even more from his co-workers who already think of him as an odd, little fellow. You can see the pain behind his eyes. All he wants is acceptance from his peers, or women, or anyone really. But, it’s hard to imagine that ever happening.
Overall, the documentary did a really good job of humanizing people that society might otherwise ignore. And, that’s a good thing. But, I just wish that this film had had a bit more structure. I’m not saying that I disliked the documentary, even though I rated it quite low. I liked the information that it had to share, but I found my attention drifting away quite frequently. So, you don’t really need to make this one a priority. But, it’s not a bad thing to accidentally stumble across on Netflix if you’re just browsing for something to watch.