7 PRISONERS (2021, Brazil) by Alexandre Moratto is a brutal portrayal of modern-day slavery set in Sao Palo where a couple of rural youth are brought to work in a junkyard under a ruthless boss. The film moves beyond the depiction of the resistance of the young workers – and the conflicts within the group, to skilfully examine the well-oiled racket that contributes towards sustaining the economy of a developing nation in which the exploiter is also a victim in a vicious web. Technically speaking, the film sparkles with its quicksilver cutting and transitions, and the claustrophobic exploration of the underbelly of an unforgiving metropolis where illegal immigrants are treated as cattle. The film also takes the Aristotelian dictum of ‘inevitability and surprising’ elements of a good ending to an altogether different level.
Quite a gut-wrenching film, this one. Look it up on NETFLIX.