Bordertown

 
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  • Where have I been
    I have seen almost all of Jennifer Lopez' movies and I came across this one, which I hadnt even heard of. This movie is amazing. It's based on a true story about the factory women in Juarez, Mexico who have been found murdered or still missing and noone was doing anything about it. Jennifer Lopez plays a journalist who is determined to find the truth about whats going on, along with another journalist played by Antonio Banderas. Since I knew nothing about this story before hand, I was uterly thrilled to see the outcome, hoping that they found the killers and things would get better but it was much more than that. What an amazing portral of what goes on in Mexico. May those women rest in peace. If you havent seen this movie, do so. ...more info
  • Important Subject - unfortunatly executed

    I really like Gregory Nava's work - El Norte' & Mi Familia', in particular. Selena too.

    So I had high hopes for Bordertown.

    Unfortunatly, the execution just doesn't work here. Where "El Norte" was beautifully written, cast, directed, filmed & edited - Bordertown falls short, far short - on all counts.

    It would seem, on the surface - that having stars like Ms. Lopez & Mr. Sheen would be an asset to the project - but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

    Casting seems especially critical to Mr. Nava's projects. He has proven that he works extremely well with lessor known actors, expertly cast to perfectly fill the roles he has created.

    The casting is not the only problem with this film. I'd liken it more to a Martin Sheen political statement - graphic & in your face - vs - Mr. Nava's generally more beautiful & subtle "storytelling" style.

    The subtle storytelling style's risk, assumes an intelligent audience to "get" the film. The reward, is a more complex story with a more rewarding viewing experience.

    Should one bother with Bordertown, given the film's massive failings? ...

    I'd suggest that yes, the subject matter & message is important, important enough to watch Bordertown ... as hard as that may be ...

    Vaya con Dios.
    ...more info
  • Injustices untold, blame misplaced
    Anyone who has been to the border between the U.S. and Mexico knows there are some seriously shady happenings. Where cheap labor can be combined with higher-priced imports into the U.S., there are bound to be conditions considered unhealthy. Many of these places are called "donkey shows", but that has nothing to do with this movie. Others more dangerous are "maquiladoras", factories where mostly women are employed, because they complain less about the long hours. It turns out that many of these women have been heinously raped and murdered; some approximations are in the hundreds of thousands.

    In this particular reenactment, one young, attractive women leaves work like normal. Instead of staying with the rest of the employees, however, she wanders downtown by herself to shop. Soon thereafter she is attacked by an employee of the public transportation system. Enter Lauren (Jennifer Lopez), a Chicago Sentinel reporter who is sent to uncover the truth behind the crimes.

    Lauren flies down to Juarez - her massive backside counted as a carry-on - and meets up with former lover/friend Alfonzo Diaz (Banderas), who now owns a small, yet controversial newspaper. Previously the two worked together in El Paso on some rag that undoubtedly ran countless articles about zombies mistaken for Marc Anthony. Together they help the one surviving victim fight through the crimes and pervasive political cover-up exploding within Mexico's borders.

    There are a few problems with the movie's message, however: I don't see where maquiladoras are to blame. It seems that the scorn is misdirected, and the aim should be towards corrupt politicians and police officers who all but encourage the lawless behavior to persist. Perhaps some of the blame could be spread around when considering working conditions, but the brutal rapes and murders should not be on the maquiladoras' collective conscious. Are they supposed to provide security for each employee throughout their diverse journeys home? Why not armored cars, personal bodyguards, and ADT home security systems while we're at it? It seems middle man is taking the brunt of the blame when there are obviously larger players (i.e. foreign governments) deserving ridicule and disparagement.

    One other personal pet peeve of mine reared its ugly head in this movie. I don't see why Hollywood screenwriters insist on casting non-smoking stars in smoking roles. In this movie, J-Lo "smokes", which is simply her holding a cigarette once or twice and letting it smolder. The addition provides no substance, no depth, no extra angst, and the miscast only makes the movie's underlying message that much more irritatingly ridiculous when one considers that cigarettes kill infinitely more per year than those scaaaaaary maquiladoras.

    This topic of this movie is powerful and has limitless potential. By all accounts, this should be a widely discussed epidemic. The movie is not fully effective, however, because politics and a certain someone's ego got in the way. ...more info
  • The yellow devil of Juarez
    The exploitation of Mexicans in in the bordertown of Juarez
    doesn't end with long hours,poor working conditions and low pay.
    The investigation of wide scale rape and murder of women
    is a story that involves the lead actress in a nightmare
    that robs her of more than just her best friend.
    That this movie got made during the Bush years is somewhat amazing.
    I hope it circulated well in Washington D.C.
    There is nothing worse than murder on this scale,
    except maybe covering it up?...more info
  • MIND BLOWING SERIAL KILLER TRUE STORY
    TYPICAL COVER UP BY A FOREIGN CORRUPT POLICE FORCE,POLITICALLY DOMINATED
    CORRUPT OFFICIALS. WELL DONE MARTIN SHEEN, ANTONIO BANDERAS AND JENIFER LOPEZ IN PROFESSIONALLY BRINGING TO THE ATTENTION OF THE WORLD MEDIA OF A SERIAL MURDER CONSPIRACY BASED ON ACTUAL TRUE FINDINGS. SHAME ON A ROMAN CATHOLIC COUNTY FOR NOT BEING BEHIND AN INVESTIGATION TO BRING THE OFFENDER/S TO JUSTICE AND SHAME ON THE MAKERS OF THIS FLM DELAYING INTERNATIONAL RELEASE ONTO DVD. ...more info
  • A Great and Very Informative movie
    This movie left me speechless and in amazement that we know so little about thats going on in other countries around the world. To think that these problems happen and makes you see that your life might not be as bad as you think. I applaud all the people involved in this project for trying to inform people and get this story out there. This could be the reason it went straight to dvd it was such a powerful and controversial story and since it had to do with NAFTA something the US made and as told in the movie wants to expand. It just goes to show you just as the Mexican government is keeping things from their people whats going on here that we dont know about???...more info
  • Thought-provoking, talented film, despite confused NAFTA politics; a libertarian review
    Hundreds (some say thousands) of women have been murdered in the Mexican town of Juarez over the years. Their raped and mutilated corpses scatter the desert. This is not fiction. The "women of Juarez" are real. Their murders continue to this day.

    Who murdered them? NAFTA!

    That's according to BORDERTOWN, a Hollywood "message movie" that tries to be entertaining as it preaches, and mostly succeeds. Its politics are so confused that libertarians, anarchists, feminists, Marxists, paleo-conservatives, anti-globalists, and Gibby the cat should all find something to cheer.

    The film has a typical "message movie" structure. An Outsider investigates an Issue, educating us along the way. In this case, Jennifer Lopez is a Chicago reporter assigned to cover the Juarez murders. Her editor (Martin Sheen) rattles off statistics, sounding less like a jaded journalist than an activist/actor lecturing to us. Lopez dislikes the assignment because Mexico is a career dead-end. But after she relents, she reconnects with her Mexican roots, discarding her blond hair dye to accept her authentically black tresses.

    Lopez learns that Juarez, just across the Texas border, is a creature of NAFTA. A town full of maquiladoras, factories that assemble TVs and computers for the U.S. market. Maquiladoras exist all along the Mexican side of the border.

    How are maquiladoras to blame for the murders of women?

    BORDERTOWN informs us that maquiladoras "hire mainly young women because they work for lowers wages and complain less about the long hours and harsh working conditions. Most maquiladoras operate 24 hours a day. Many women are attacked while traveling to and from work in the late night and early morning. The companies provide no security for the workers."

    You see, factories are responsible for workers' safety, not only on the job, but while they're commuting. (And perhaps at home, too?)

    Yet there are libertarian nuggets in this film. By morally obligating businesses to protect their workers offsite, this film admits that the state has failed in its core duty. And BORDERTOWN pulls no punches; its corrupt Mexican police not only fail to protect, they also cover up murders and frame innocent suspects.

    So much for relying on state protection -- these women need guns! Yet when Lopez enters a dangerous situation undercover, she arms herself ... with rocks. Sic!

    BORDERTOWN offers other libertarian insights. One rape victim/factory worker (Mexican actress Maya Zapata) says she'd rather live on her farm, but the government keeps raising taxes to push people off their land, pressuring them to accept low-wage jobs out of desperation. "We cannot pay the taxes, so they tell us, go to the border and work in the maquiladora. Make money to keep your land. But there is no money here. The government and the factories take everything. All the money is for them. For us, nothing."

    Well, she gets $5 a day, so when she says "nothing," she presumably means wages are so low, she can't pay the taxes. Taxes raised not for revenue (people can't pay them), but to create cheap labor. Thus does the government collude with business (perhaps for kickbacks?).

    Marxists call this "market exploitation," but libertarians will recognize it as "market distortion."

    The U.S. government is also condemned, for not mandating worker protections in NAFTA. "The screams of the women of Juarez are silent because no one will listen," Lopez writes in her news story. "Not the giant corporations who make their profits from the labor of these women. Not the governments of Mexico and the U.S. who benefit from the free trade agreement. All the evidence points to the fact that there are many killers. A whole culture of murder that gets worse the more it's denied and covered up. Covering it up is less expensive than protecting these women. Everything is about the bottom line. And so the death toll mounts."

    Lopez is right about there being many killers. "You want to kill a woman for any reason, you come to Juarez," a local journalist tells her.

    Juarez is a bad town. Most slums are. And police rarely expend resources on poor victims. But this is an old story. It has nothing to do with NAFTA.

    A U.S. Senator and the newspaper's corporate owner pressure Sheen to kill the story. They want to expand NAFTA to Central America, and don't want bad press. Sheen tells Lopez that corporate America's news agenda is "free trade, globalization, and entertainment." Lopez snaps, "It isn't free trade. It's slave trade. It's a goddamn scam."

    She means low wages and no protections, yet she inadvertently has a point. Libertarian presidential candidate Harry Browne too opposed NAFTA, as a form of managed trade (i.e., a scam), saying, "Free trade can not be achieved through committee negotiations and lengthy regulations."

    A Mexican industrialist tells Lopez, "I buy politicians on both sides of the border." State and industry collaborate in BORDERTOWN. Marxists see this as global capitalism, but libertarians recognize it as statist corporatism (i.e., economic fascism).

    I recommend this DVD. It highlights important issues. The women of Juarez are real and deserve attention, irrespective of BORDERTOWN'S confused politics.

    Special features include Jennifer Lopez accepting an Amnesty International award for BORDERTOWN at the Berlin Film Festival; a documentary about a murder victim and the innocent suspect arrested and tortured by police. (Most of the maquiladoras shown here are Asian -- Sony, Sanyo, Hitachi -- so why doesn't BORDERTOWN condemn the Japanese government?); and a documentary that follows a woman's attempt to illegally cross the border into the U.S....more info
  • Best Film of 2007
    I saw the film on ON-Demand Cable last night and had to watch it twice. Truly a great film, that apparently has been neglected, due to it's controversial content. Gregory Nava has made an important and gripping film, that should be required viewing for all politicians and business people who fail to see the human side of the profit motive.

    Jennifer Lopez gets to prove once again she is a great actress and Antonio Banderos is more then a Latin Lover.

    Why this movie did not get the recognition and viership it deserves must be part of the story. A sequel would be very appropriate about now....more info
  • Great look at where our jobs have gone, the pain of big business
    Great look at where our jobs have gone, the pain of big business in another country....more info
  • Exposing the Murders of Juarez
    Bordertown I think this movie was great, if not for anything else but to expose the activities taking place in Juarez. I am sure that Juarez has a lot more to offer than the murderous ways it has become known for, but so many people are unaware of the goings on there and I was so excited to know that a movie was going to be released. Rather disappointed it went directly to DVD but like most movies with JLo as a main character they tend to not do very well at the box office. I liked her in this movie and she is not completely hopeless as an actress either. I think some tend to forget her phenomenal portrayal of Selena amongst other roles. I think she's an easy target because she's JLo. But this movie was good, informative, and an action packed eye opener.

    ...more info
  • Important Topic; Trashy Melodramic Film with Elements of A Bad Slasher Movie
    THE BONUS MATERIAL IS WHAT MAKES THIS DVD IMPORTANT

    This movie covers an important and interesting topic, but in a melodramatic, over the top way. The movie also has a cheap look to it, like a made for cable movie. The acting and writing are good in some parts, bad in others, but mostly mediocre. The DVD has some great extras.

    The background for the story is the murder of young women in Mexican border towns along the Texas border. This did get some press a few years ago. I remember reading about it in the newspaper and seeing coverage on TV.

    This movie brings back this tragedy in a heavy handed and inaccurate manner. And portions of this movie are like a bad slasher movie.

    Jennifer Lopez is a reporter for a Chicago newspaper sent to Mexico to cover the murders of young women working in the border factories. She hooks up Antonio Bandares, who is the publisher of the local newspaper and used to be her lover. Mercifully, that aspect of the story is handled superficially.

    The movie shows a grand conspiracy to cover up the murders.
    The police and the politicians want to squash the story. The police confiscate newspapers, harrass the reporters and chase Lopez. Back in Chicago, the conglomerate that owns the Lopez's newspaper kills the story.
    Unknown bad guys shoot at the reporters.
    -->The truth is that this story has been told. I remember reading about it when the first murders were discovered and later when things seemed to esculate. However, I must admit that I haven't heard much about it lately or how bad it had gotten. It is just one of the many horrific global stories where the US seems to lose interest.

    There are holes in the plot. For instance:
    Lopez meets a girl who survived a murder attempt. She can't go to the Mexican police, because she thinks they will kill her. She and Lopez go hiding from the police and get a picture of the man who attacked her. So, now the police set a trap for him, capture him and she agrees to testify.
    And one point, the girl thinks she might not testify, and Lopez worries about the attacker going free. But, the attacker also attacked Lopez, and took her to a mass grave. Couldn't she just as easily testify?

    Parts of this movie are just like a bad slasher fick, but without the blood.
    Lopez goes after the attackers of the girl. She gets chased by the bad guys and almost killed. She fights them off and ends up either capturing them or killing them.

    It is apparent that the movie was filmed on a tight budget. The scenes are often tinted in yellow and greenish hues to try and add atmosphere.

    The DVD has two great extra documentary featurettes. One is about life working in the border factories. The other is about one of the border murders and how the murdered girl's cousin has been arrested for the murder. The second documentary goes at great lengths to show how the cousin was wrongly accused. It may be true, but I have to wonder. The story is very one sided. With the heavy handed approach of the main movie, I have my doubts about the fairness of the documentary. There is no rebuttal from the authorities. But, I don't know if that is because they refused to participate or the documentary makers didn't want to bother.

    It is too bad that a mediocre, melodramatic movie was made to highlight such an important story.
    ...more info
  • A gem that deserves to be seen!
    I wondered why this film went straight to DVD. I had been wanting to see it for quite some time, but I was afraid I would be disappointed after the lack of attention it received. Thankfully, just the opposite occurred.

    'Bordertown' is a film about real people in real life situations. It's well-acted, well-executed, and very suspenseful. But behind the qualities of a good film lies a much deeper aspect: humanity. This film exposes the true stories of thousands of women along the border who have been raped and murdered as a result of harsh working conditions in the factories (called "maquilas") and a lack of security provisions. It's very eye-opening to the heinous crimes that are still going on today. The film also shows the power of good journalism. As a journalism student, I am very interested in investigative reporting and the benefits it brings. 'Bordertown' reflects the idea that good reporting is sometimes the only mechanism of discovering and exposing the truth and, ultimately, saving lives.

    Maya Zapata, whom I had never heard of prior to this film, gives an excellent performance as Eva, the girl "taken to hell and back by the devil"--the only girl to survive a rape and attempted murder by brutal killers in the town of Juarez. Jennifer Lopez proves that she CAN act, giving us a solid, layered performance as the main character, Lauren, a women thrust into a world where she must struggle to come to terms with her past and identity. Antonio Banderas is great as usual as the local Mexican reporter striving to tell the truth at the risk of his own safety. Martin Sheen and Sonia Braga do well in their supporting roles.

    'Bordertown' has all the qualities of a good film. At times, it is difficult to watch, but it's an intriguing yet disturbing story that will impact most viewers, leaving them with something to think and talk about long after the movie ends....more info
  • See the Film, Pass the Word: A Call for Involvement in Public Action
    BORDERTOWN is more than a suspenseful film about a tragic reality that has been terrifying Juarez, Mexico for years. This film, written and directed by Gregory Nava ('Mi Familia', 'El Norte', 'Selena', etc), approaches a public service campaign on the part of Nava and the rest of his cast and crew - especially producer/star Jennifer Lopez. After the stunning effect of the film, the viewer is encouraged to watch the several excellent featurettes on the DVD - and then try to remain uninvolved.

    Chicago Sentinel editor George Morgan (Martin Sheen) convinces the reluctant reporter Lauren Adrian (Jennifer Lopez) to fly to Juarez, Mexico to cover a combustible story about the ongoing rapes and murders of women who work the factories along the border for little pay. Lauren would prefer becoming a foreign correspondent and extracts a promise that if she takes on this ugly assignment ('I don't speak Spanish and I don't know anything about Mexico'), Morgan will grant that request. When the beautiful blond Lauren arrives in Juarez she is shocked by the reality: a very young factory worker girl Eva (the fine young actress Maya Zapata) has managed to survive a rape and attempted murder, literally climbing out of her grave and escaping. Lauren and Eva bond and Lauren realizes that her story about the 5000 victims of this heinous serial killing may just rest with the information Eva holds: she can identify her assailants. With the aid of anxious newspaper owner Alfonso Diaz (Antonio Banderas) the three begin the dangerous struggle to unveil the truths about the cover-up of the deaths: the police and government corruption in Mexico are matched by similar deeds in the USA in order to protect the NAFTA arrangement which apparently holds the profit of the mega-factories of more importance then the mere lives of thousands of Mexican women. How the trio infiltrates the corruption (and the buried secret realities of Lauren's humble beginnings) provide the remainder of the film.

    Nava elects to shoot this film in garish light and emphasizes the tragic filth and mire of the living conditions of the peasants along the border - each hoping to escape the life situations by crossing into the US. He manages to maintain a coarse cinematic effect that enhances the story. Not only Is Lopez in top form, but also she is assisted by a fine cast of fellow actors including Sonia Braga, Juan Diego Botto, Zaide Silvia Guti®¶rrez, Rene Rivera among others. Yes, the story has been told before, but that only means there are many people who want this contemporary tragedy to end. In one of the features on the DVD we are given addresses and names to contact to help stop this horrendous 'feminicide'. Take serious note. Grady Harp, February 08 ...more info
  • Bordertown Is No Joke
    This movie was incredible. The fact that this is based on true events is unbelievable and disgusting. I saw this with my family, whom happen to dislike Jennifer Lopez, really enjoyed the movie, and not to mention Antonio Banderas was great too. It's a shame that this movie wasn't released into theatres and merely swept under the rug.

    Don't sleep on this, this movie is a must see. There were plenty of edge of your seat moments, and a few disturbing scenes. My favorite scene was when Jennifer went undercover as a factory worker, I won't spoil it, but it was very intense. Go check it out....more info
  • If You Have a Brain Don't Bother With This Movie!
    This movie is so poorly written (trite, trite, trite) and badly directed as to be almost laughable and all but unwatchable. And the insanity of casting Jennifer Lopez as a "blonde American who doesn't speak Spanish!" A waste of any thinking person's time and money. ...more info
  • Incorrect Release Date
    I am living in Doha, Qatar and this movie is already out and on sale in the local stores. How is this true, if you advertise that the movie does not release until late January 2008?...more info
  • Jennifer Lopez...in a great film?!
    I was actually skeptical when I first came across this movie. But I took a chance on seeing it. Now I can't wait until it actually comes out on DVD. This is an EXCELLENT film. Being that I'm a US Citizen living in Mexico for a few months I see exactly what the film is talking about. It's just a shame that not many people actually know what is going on here. This film could be a cultural phenomenon that could help to change things. THIS IS AN ABSOLUTELY AMAZING FILM. Only problem that I had was that J.Lo is trying to act like a stereotypical "gringa" and it's really easy to hear her accent. Other than that, I loved the movie. ...more info
  • Stunning
    I can't reccomend this film highly enough. See it. It's news you won't see on CNN. I have never liked Lopez, but this movie isn't about her or Banderas. It's also not a typical hollywood movie either.

    The central theme never deviates away from the story about a 16 year old sole survivor of an attack and her desire to survive, which means she needs to capture her attackers or they will kill her because she can identify them. The story is very human and a realistic protrayal of how systems and cultures can work against victims without being obvious.

    Anyone saying the film is political has discounted the reality and importance of these rapes and murders, now numbering in the thousands within the last few years. No single authority has even attempted to document them all until recently, and that's been through human rights groups. This story should be embarrassing for authorities - on both sides of the border.

    There are various subjects explored which might create the circumstances that allow these crimes to continue happening, such as corruption, NAFTA, class, greed, racism, bias, corporations, but they are not conclusive, central or over-dramatized. But even the exploration of these subjects will make this film politically unpopular and even more important to see....more info