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    Sudor Amargo

    Fishy business

    "Sudor Amargo" is a moderately effective story about labor, love, jealousy and murder among the female workers and male managers in a failing Puerto Rico fish processing plant.


    Part soap opera, part murder mystery, part labor-rights drama, "Sudor Amargo" is a homegrown Puerto Rican film about the women who work in a doomed fish-packing plant called, whether with verisimilitude or unintentional humor, "Ernie Tuna."

    Written and directed by: Sonia Valentin.
    Cast: Yvonne Curo, Alba Nydia D’az, Luisa Justiniano, Yamaris Latorre, Elsie Moreau, Gladys Rodr’guez, Sonia Valentin.
    In Spanish with English subtitles.
    LaCinemaFe festival (2003)
  • Overview
  • Sudor Amargo

  • La CinemaFe 2004
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  • New Filmmakers (2003)
  • Make Pretend
  • Schmelvis: The Jewish Elvis
  • Sudor Amargo
  • Official site
  • Anthology Film Archives
  • Ernie Tuna's line workers are all women, while its managers are all men, as are its beefy security guards and broodingly intellectual custodians. The women are the focus of the film — one with cancer, one whose son steals her money to buy heroine, one pregnant and one who's fooling around with the boss.

    As the movie starts, the factory gates are closed at the beginning of the shift, and an Anglo visitor from headquarters is telling the managers that the money-losing plant is going to be phased out and relocated to a cheaper site in South America. Word gets around pretty quickly, and soon there are layoffs, fear and a plunge in morale.

    Next morning, the manager is found dead in his office, and it's uncertain whether it was his wife who did it, the mistress Magda, the jealous custodian or some other disgruntled employee.

    "Sudor Amargo" is not a very artful film. Camera work is plain and unimaginative, and dialogue is sometimes stilted or overdramatic. It tries to tell several kinds of stories at once, none of them altogether satisfactorily. But the film's heart is in the right place. A drama about the effects of international economics on the working class in Puerto Rico is a whorthwhile subject, and even if it's a bit unreal, this film is a heartfelt portrayal of a partially real situation in the filmmaker's experience.

    MAY 28, 2003

    Reader comments on Sudor Amargo:

  • A good movie   from Kesia, Nov 24, 2004
  • sudor amargo   from vicente casiano, Jan 2, 2005
  • Re: sudor amargo   from Evie Benet, Jul 14, 2005
  • 2 thumbs up   from Jorge Vazquez, Jan 30, 2005
  • Sudor Amargo   from Evie Benet, Jul 14, 2005

  • Post a comment on "Sudor Amargo"