The Delinquents film

The Delinquents is a new Argentine film from director and writer Rodrigo Moreno, set in modern-day Buenos Aires. It follows the story of a bank worker Morán (Daniel Elías), who plots to steal enough money from the bank to never have to work again. 

Morán enlists the help of his colleague Roman (Esteban Bigliardi) to hide the cash while he serves his prison sentence. It depicts the crushing alienation that workers suffer under capitalism. The start of the film shows the drudgery of daily life for Moran, from the daily commute to senseless tasks in the bank. For Moran, the brutality of prison was preferable.

He justifies his crime saying, “Three and a half years in prison, or 25 in the bank?” Before handing himself in to the police, Moran spends time in the countryside of Cordoba where he falls in love with a woman named Norma (Margarita Molfino). When Norma doesn’t have work to do, she doesn’t work. In contrast even if there is no work to do, Moran still must work. To cover their mistakes after the robbery, management goes after all the employees.

Management lowers one employee’s wages, and it lays off and blames the security guard. Roman is incessantly interrogated by his manager and a private detective. Unable to prove his guilt they embark on a quest to make his life absolute misery. In the end, Roman quits his job.

The Delinquents portrays the misery of workers under capitalism, although it doesn’t label it as this. Human beings have complex needs and desires, and Moreno displays how workers can dream up a world for themselves where they are no longer held back. Not only do they dream, but they can fight back.

In this case, Moran plays out the fantasy of robbing his boss. For Moran and Roman, it is a liberating experience. Perhaps watching this film can give us all a glimpse of what it is like to live out our dreams. In our case, this can be the collective expropriation of the bosses’ wealth and the opportunity to live fulfilling and liberated lives. 

The Delinquents is on Mubi and in cinemas

 Sweet East—a satirical portrayal of extremism in the US

A new film The Sweet East firstly presents itself as a teenage indie flick, but quickly becomes a bizarre reflection of political polarisation. It’s seen through the eyes of Lilian (Talia Ryder) on her journey across the United States. 

Sean Price Williams directs the film and presents a vision of a US that is rotting. It mocks various different groups that all have different ideologies on different ends of the political spectrum.  Sweet East feels similar to Alice in Wonderland. Lilian goes down a rabbit hole, exploring different types of what the filmmakers see as “extremism.”

She meets Lawrence (Simon Rex) an Edgar Allen Poe obsessed professor. He’s far right but conceals his Nazi sympathies. Lillian also meets Caleb (Earl Cave) and his anarchist gang—who all have rich parents. Lilian comfortably sleeps for months under the cover of a swastika blanket in the home of the alt-right professor who constantly spits out his hateful ideology.

But she runs from the anarchists when they want to beat up nazis. It’s an interesting juxtaposition. As the US has a history of anti-communist rhetoric, the film seems to be asking, “Is it more acceptable to be far right in the US than to be far left?” The film pokes fun at the American dream. Lillian makes her way to relative fame through manipulation and deceit, and her right wing connections—only to end up back at home, where she started. 

Through wandering through the US, Lillian is unconvinced by any of the group or political ideologies. It’s not a great message. But overall the film is entertaining and manages to make some light of a society that is becoming more polarised. 

Nasihah Begum

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