Saturday, November 11, 2023

At the Movies: At the Gates (2023)


The new film At the Gates is now playing at theaters in New York and Los Angeles.   IMDb summarizes the plot of the new movie as follows:  "A housekeeper from El Salvador brings her son to help her clean an affluent family's Los Angeles home. After being told by her employers that immigration officers are searching for her, she accepts the invitation to shelter in their house."  The film's website elaborates:

"Ana Ibarra . . . , a housekeeper from El Salvador, has been working for the Barris family for eight months when she first brings her teenage son Nico . . . to help her. Told by the Barrises that their family’s home has been visited by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents looking for the mother and son during a sweeping crackdown, the pair is grateful when Marianne (Miranda Otto) offers to let them stay in the house until the situation can be sorted out. Her attorney husband Peter (Noah Wyle) appears reluctant to have Ana and Nico stay and imposes a series of strict conditions: Don’t leave the house, don’t stand near windows, turn over all cell phones, stay out of his office and spend nights hidden away in a locked storage space in the basement.

After several days without further visits from ICE, Nico begins to bristle under the restrictions. Breaking the rules and wandering through the house at night, he surprises the Barrises’ teenage daughter Lauren (Sadie Stanley), who has her own misgivings about the Ibarras’ presence.

As time goes by and tensions mount, each family begins to question the other’s motivations in this riveting and emotional thriller."

I look forward to seeing the movie but admit that I am not sure what I will think of it.  Part of a review from Indie Wire did intrigue me:  "“At the Gates” convincingly argues that self-involved U.S. citizens are blind or indifferent to the uncertainty that haunts so many of the immigrants who come here in search of a better life, even — and perhaps especially — when they rely on those people as indispensable workers and adopt them into their own homes `like members of the family.'"


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