JALE Image


By Brad Wilke | October 26, 2009

Jale is a short film about the invisible economy of undocumented workers with a decidedly dark twist. Directed by Rafael Flores, it tells the story of Fulano (Ivan Lino-Montes), a day laborer brought out into the California desert to perform an unsavory task for a rich white man in a limousine. After starting the work, but before getting paid, he is abandoned in the desert. He soon discovers the true nature of his task and, though repulsed, finishes up what he was hired to do.

And then things turn tragic. Or do they?

On the long walk home, he is accosted by two immigration agents and, after vainly pleading his case, is thrown into the back of their cruiser and driven to the nearest holding cell.

Unfortunately, Flores takes what could have been an uncompromising story and turns it into a heavy-handed morality play. Fulano reconsiders his decision to step into the limo after seeing (through the power of film) how it would eventually turn out for him. Whisked magically back to the street corner with this newfound knowledge, he declines the offer of work and lives to see another day of freedom.

Or does he?

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