over the world, long
motorways and enormous
part of the landscape; but behind the construction
of these essentials of modern
living is an anonymous work-
Juan Carlos Rulfos
winning documentary In The Pit explores
both the monumental task of building a
Second Deck for Mexico Citys
freeway and the diverse characters who
make up that workforce...
CONSTRUCTION WORKERS ARE CURSED by commuters stuck in long traffic jams
construction workers who sometimes have to take life-endangering risks during
the course of their difficult days; but have you ever given a thought to these
men who tirelessly toil for future progress? Do you ever wonder what they are
like, how they live… or how they die?
Juan Carlos Rulfo's documentary In The Pit (En El Hoyo), winner
of the Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize, pays homage to the men who
are constructing a seventeen-kilometre Second Deck for the Periférico freeway
that will ultimately help to ease traffic conditions in Mexico City; where each
day over 15 million people and three million vehicles are trying to reach their
This multi-award-winning documentary also looks at the city the bridge is to
serve and, while the progress of the Second Deck is the structural and temporal
basis of the film, a series of impressionistic vignettes captures the day-to-day
lives of those involved in the construction. There is the hard worker, the liar,
the joker and the player. We see their places of origin Michoacán, Estado
de Mexico and look the way they live: festivities, music, food, funerals
and, if they are lucky, at rest.
Mexican legend has it that for every bridge built the devil asks for one soul
to ensure the bridge never falls. This important Second Deck will transform
the city, its landscape and the lives of its inhabitants. In The Pit
is the story of those whose energy and sweat go into the making of this mammoth
work of concrete, steel and asphalt. They confide their hopes and dreams; they
prove their stoicism and their dignity and, ultimately, this is the story of
And it is a story of contrasts and emotions; of triumphs and sometimes fatal
mistakes; of the workforce's sheer determination to carve out a living for themselves
and stave off the very real threat of poverty. And sometimes there is a lost
soul a soul that will remain as a memory of the workers who built the
Second Deck, which is the largest bridge in the history of the city.
In The Pit is an intriguing, emotional and powerful vision of a Herculean
task. Meet the human face of anonymous labour as the men dig, work in choking
dust and piece together steel rods and concrete. Dreaming of well paid jobs
and much better conditions, believing in fate and that "any major construction
needs souls in its foundations", acknowledging religion and accepting their
lot, these sometimes frustrated men open their hearts to the camera.
Foreman of the iron workers Vincendio Martínez longs to retire in his early
thirties to work on a ranch. José Guădalupe Calzada is willing to do anything
and everything and the religious Isabel Dolores Hernández speaks of the frustrations
of years in "this hell". They believe that the only way you'll succeed in Mexico
is to corrupt yourself. The men work, live, breath and sometimes sleep in this
difficult environment where even the car drivers do not appear to be aware of
the workers, who most fear having nothing to eat.
Natividad Sánchez Montes works on traffic control, is deeply superstitious and
believes that she has seen both God and the devil. The men's lives are hard
and confusing and mistakes can cost lives. But perhaps most telling of all is
that the men will not be using the bridge themselves as they cannot afford to
buy a car. It is their blood, sweat and tears that go into this construction
yet others get the glory.Subtitles
are easy to read and the bad language is kept to a minimum. A little slow to
start, this is a fascinating documentary that delves into the lives of men whose
importance is oftn overlooked.
Network Releasing is delighted to announce
the DVD debut of In The Pit (En El Hoyo), the critically-acclaimed
documentary about Mexico City's inner Periférico freeway, on 21 June (2010).
RRP: Ł15.99 | Running Time: 85 Minutes | Catalogue Number: 7953317 | English
Subtitles. Extras: Behind The Scenes Documentary | Trailer.
"In The Pit is an intriguing, emotional and powerful vision of a Herculean
task" Maggie Woods, MotorBar
"A remarkable documentary. Truly memorable" FilmCritic