Spanish, Hindi, Russian, English
Bombay, Mexico City, Moscow, New York: seductive yet repellent monsters. The contradiction insinuates itself into the daily lives of those who populate these megacities. The film’s twelve chapters tell the tales of: Shankar, the Bioscope Man; Modesto, the chicken feet vendor; Baba Khan, the paint recycler; Nestor, the trash scavenger; Oleg, Borya, Kolya, and Misha, the street kids; Cassandra, the performer; Larissa, the crane driver; Toni, the hustler. Day in, day out, they all set about their struggle for survival with ingenuity, intelligence and dignity. And they all share a single fantasy: the dream of a better life. Megacities is a film about work, poverty, violence, love, and sex. A film about the beauty of people.
A word from Tënk
With Megacities, the late filmmaker Michael Glawogger has left us an urban work of rare power. These "12 stories of survival" take us from Mumbai to Mexico City in the 1990s, passing through New York and Moscow, at the height of these monster cities that appear like big wheels, swallowing everything in their path. Thanks to a fine work of direction and astute narrative devices, the film gives us a true documentary dramaturgy, gathering as many "camera addresses" that frame the demanding living conditions of the residents, as poetic asides where buried desires and lucid and unvarnished observations are mixed. Megacities is something of a Dickensian fable.
With the first opus of what became his trilogy on the globalized human condition, Glawogger takes a frontal look at our enslavement to urban life; at humans who exploit resources to the last possible impulses. "The absurd is a cultural heritage of humanity," says a Mexican wrestler to a travelling typographer. And no level of absurdity eludes the director and his team.
Some scenes are difficult to watch, but Glawogger made the choice, crucial in his time, to show that which we too often refuse to look at.