Last night I got the chance to see a great new movie that is set to come out across Mexico on August 25. It's called "En el Hoyo," ("In the Pit"), and follows the construction of the largest bridge in the history of Mexico City. Called "El Segundo Piso," it is a absolutely massive project that has been underway for many years. It seeks to alive the horrible traffic in Mexico by adding a "Second Floor" to the Periférico freeway. A friend of mine was in DF day before yesterday and was raving about the bridge. "I was out of the city in ten minutes," she said.
The film follows five or six different workers as they spend day after day working on the bridge. Director Juan Carlos Rulfo definitely has a good understanding of people and picked some very effective stars for his documentary. He combines many interviews with the characters with footage of the work, including some absolutely breathtaking time-lapse shots of the construction. In a twist I've never seen and still can't quite figure out, Rulfo manages to moving the camera while doing time-lapse, allowing it to pan and follow the action over a period of time.
The music is also perfect in the movie, it follows a style that the same friend describes as being typical of the "new Mexican documentary." Electronic and composed with samples of machinery and dialog, it blends in and out of the action of the film, sometimes ambient and sublime, other times causing members of the audience to cover their ears at its intensity. The style reminds me of The Nortec Collective. It was done by Leonardo Heiblum, who also did the music for Maria Llena Eres de Gracia (Maria Full of Grace).
It's won a slew of awards including Best International Documentary at Sundance 2006 and I'm sure sooner or later it is going to be released worldwide. Until then, it's come to Mexico or live vicariously.