Resistance brews among a group of Indian immigrants living in utter squalor, after having been lured as guest workers by a Texas shipyard to repair oil rigs and ships damaged by Hurricane Katrina. When one attempts the worst, the others are motivated to smuggle out camcorder testimonies of abuse of their human rights.
Expressionist, raw and intimate, this film’s exhuming of a hidden history of slave labor from the Global South burrows deep under your skin. Working masterfully with cinematographic suggestion, director Sachin Dheeraj Mudigonda chisels the layers of bitter irony extending through the sociopolitical context and inner lives of characters you come to deeply care for, including the laborer portrayed by veteran Antonythasan Jesuthasan (Dheepan). Hard to believe this bravura accomplishment of storytelling was Mudigonda’s MFA thesis film at UT-Austin, but then again, it won a student award from the Directors Guild of America.