2008 / 90m - Mexico
Sleep Dealer poster


February 16, 2021


Likeable Mexican sci-fi. Director Alex Rivera didn't have an excessive budget to splurge, so he applied it wisely to create a world that feels clearly futuristic, but is still grounded in our current reality. Sleep Dealer serves a logical evolution of the here and now, different enough to be visionary, yet lived in and lively enough to move beyond mere conceptual sci-fi.

The film deals with topics like water deficits, virtual work forces, class inequality, memories as sellable goods, corporate greed etc. It's a solid mix of social issues and cultural innovations, which is something I tend to appreciate in sci-fi (in that sense it's not unlike Code 46). Because of that the film lacks a little focus, at the same time it helps to sculpt a more vibrant and inviting world to explore.

The CG is a little basic, but the sci-fi designs are pretty cool. Rivera doesn't quite succeed in hiding his budgetary woes, but overall the film has a nice look and sound that scratched my sci-fi itch. The drama is also pretty successful, performances are solid and the ending is fitting. It lacks the conviction and boldness of a true masterpiece, but can't really fault the film beyond that. A pleasant discovery.