Alex Rivera’s Sleep Dealer

Sleep Dealer takes what we’ve discussed about being part of a community and goes further in creating a surreal futuristic phenomenon. In class the point was brought up that the labor portrayed in the film is similar to the exhaustion a person might experience when using technology, for example spending countless hours on a computer desktop. I can see the parallels in that comparison because I’ve been subject to working on papers for countless hours. There have probably been times where I didn’t look away from the screen enough and it did take a toll on my eyes and my energy level. The labor done in the film might not have taken a physical toll as much as we think because they are technically standing in one spot and moving their hands to motion a lifelike action done in construction or whatever field their duty falls under. I believe that the toll it takes on Memo to the point where he is exhausted is more on the mental and emotional side. The labor drained his energy and I do think this is essential to using technology. When using an electronic device, a person becomes mesmerized by the features of the device and technically enters a new world. Memo enters a new world that his perceptions lead him to believe that he’s in. Imagining this film becoming a reality could really chance the landscape of the work force and the issues some underdeveloped counties, like Mexico, deal with.

Luz is a central character and the presenters in class asked us to think about what she means to the film along with what symbolic value she has towards Memo. Even though she comes off as a conniving, manipulative backstabber throughout the film, she turns out to be the gateway to Memo’s problems. His family is struggling to make due following the death of Memo’s father and the fact that their water supply is still being cut off by the wall that was built to block it off. Even though she sells Memo’s memories and experiences to Ramirez, it is Ramirez who is able to help Memo because of his guilt for killing is father. The wall is broken with the technology and Memo’s family is able to celebrate the wrecking of the dam. Luz is the one that opens up Memo to this new world and she performs the procedure to give Memo the nodes.

If I had the choice, I probably wouldn’t choose to get nodes and follow the path Memo does. It’s easy for me to say that living in today’s world, because Memo’s circumstances were obviously different. The positive that comes from this film is the idea that underdeveloped countries, like Mexico, might benefit from the incorporated technology. There would be newer opportunities, in the United States, for labor and obtaining resources. The biggest thing I took away from the film is how the human experience was portrayed through technology. Just like we read in Neuromancer, technology opens a new world and perspective that our senses take part in as an experience. Although we don’t see Memo teleporting into the construction sight, his senses are leading the way as he does his work and experiences the exhausting labor.

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