The Sleep Dealer : An Alien Body

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The Sleep Dealer begins with an unusual image of a human being who has slowly been transformed into an alien body. This alien body is not a strange green-skinned visitor from another planet, it is the body of a young Mexican man named Memo who has been forced to ‘upgrade’ his physical body in order to work in an advanced factory on the US/Mexico border. In a close up we see a shot of Memo, who has been connected to a machine while his arms and his back are covered in sockets and cables. Ensnared in this web of glowing blue sockets and aging cyber-tech, the young man goes about his work, his cybernetic eyes staring at virtual images while his surgically upgraded hands make a series of automated movements. As the scene continues, we see that this futuristic factory houses of vast assembly line of technologically upgraded workers, all of whom are enhanced just like Memo, each of whom is making robotic movements with their arms, each of whom have their bodies connected to a machine. The factory in which Memo finds himself in is no ordinary place, it is known as a ‘Sleep Dealer’. Both the name and title of the film refer to these factories where a type of ‘virtual labor’ is performed by Mexican workers and then transmitted virtually across the militarized Mexican border to the United States. The ‘sleep’ in the title references the sleep inducing effect which the long shifts have on the factories workers as they perform various forms of virtual labor in countries they are not

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