Reviews & Quotes | Purgatorio
OOKLIST | Candace Smith
"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."