Latin@ Experience • Border Studies • Film Studies
2013. Director Rodrigo Reyes, Inti Cordera.
52 Minutes. In English & Spanish with English & Spanish Subtitles.

 

Rodrigo 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.

 

 

AWARDS & FESTIVALS
Reviews & Quotes

PURGATORIO

A unique cinematic experience to take us deep into the heart of the US-Mexico border
SCREENINGS

America Reframed, a documentary series airing on World Channel and PBS

UC Merced

Princeton University

University of San Diego

Cal State San Marcos

Please reload

2015 Best US Latino Film

CINEMA TROPICAL AWARDS

Jury Award for Best Documentary

SAN DIEGO LATINO FILM FESTIVAL

Jury Award for Best Documentary

THIS HUMAN WORLD

Jury Award for Best Documentary

NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL

Michael Moore Award for Best Documentary

Festival NamANN ARBOR FILM FESTIVAL

Please reload

“Many U.S. and Mexico border areas are filled with abandoned automobiles, discarded trash, and broken dreams. In this haunting documentary directed by Rodrigo Reyes, filmmakers spend four weeks along the border recording a region covered with “dirt and despair” that Reyes aptly calls “Purgatorio.” A drug addict says one day is the same as another, and two men who have traveled for days emotionally speak about families left behind. A humanitarian volunteer leaves backpacks filled with provisions on trees for those trying to cross the border, while another begrudges illegals entering the U.S. Speakers pay tribute to policemen killed on duty, villagers talk of police brutality, and border officials try to identify unnamed bodies. The dialogue alternates between Spanish (with English subtitles) and English (with Spanish subtitles), and narration is limited. A telling glimpse into the complex problem of borders and immigration.”

 

VARIETY

Andrew Barker

“A searing, horrifying, at times starkly beautiful documentary ode to the netherworlds surrounding the U.S.-Mexico barrier.”

 

NEW YORK TIMES

Daniel M. Gold

“Beauty and brutality on two sides of a border.”

Please reload

Please reload

Watch the Trailer