In the Pit (2007)


Critic Consensus: Although this doc is shot in a simple style, it is a touching and fascinating look at the lives of Mexican laborers.


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Movie Info

The hardships of a Mexico City construction crew struggling to complete a second deck atop the massive Periférico Freeway are explored in director Juan Carlos Rulfo's studied look at the modern work ethic. As countless drivers zoom past the enormous worksite day after day, the anonymous workers toil away in a relentless drive to finish construction on the massive freeway addition by the scheduled completion date of December 2005. Despite the long hours and sometimes harsh working conditions, workers such as "Shorty" and "EL Grande" look past the sub-standard safety conditions to focus on the task at hand. Though both men know that when the project is finally completed they will likely receive little to no recognition for their monumental feat, the differing attitudes that they take towards their jobs offers a compelling look at the divisive opinions that many Mexicans hold in regards to both themselves and their country.

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Critic Reviews for In the Pit

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (12)

If you've ever been fascinated by a large and complex construction site, Juan Carlos Rulfo's oddly affecting documentary may offer a kind of blue-collar bliss.

May 4, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Like the highway these men are building, Rulfo's film sails above the larger context that would actually bring emotional meaning to the lives he wants to celebrate.

Apr 23, 2007 | Full Review…

The workers are upstaged by their work. And the film is a tribute to impressive labor -- its own.

Apr 1, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Equally as perplexing as its lack of perspective is the film's overall shortage of information.

Mar 23, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

With countless Mexican workers laboring to build a massive freeway in Mexico City, filmmaker Juan Carlos Rulfo patiently focuses on a handful of the souls who might otherwise be forgotten among the working anonymous.

Feb 7, 2007 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

You long for more context on both workers and project, though a breathtaking five-minute-plus helicopter shot along the snaking concrete-and-iron colossus at the close helps distract from any moans.

Feb 3, 2007 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for In the Pit


[font=Century Gothic]"In the Pit" is an insightful documentary about the building of the second deck of the Pereferico Freeway in Mexico City, focusing on men(and one woman) who worked on the immense project.(It should be noted that there is a sort of hyper-masculinity infecting the workers. One even spent his time spying on passing female motorists.) Through this, there forms an incisive portrait of the class system of Mexico. To start, the construction crews were mostly from the lower and working classes who risked their lives working below, on(while dodging traffic) and above the ground. Building another deck was a particularly bourgeois solution to the traffic woes as most people who own a car are at least of the middle class. By comparison, the workers take buses to and from the site. I do not think the second deck will even alleviate traffic in the long run, as it will just lead to more cars taking to the roads.(For more information, read "The Power Broker" by Robert Caro.) and therefore to more pollution. [/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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