15 Best Movies and Performances of 2017 Sundance Film Festival

From fringe-movement docs to a baker's dozen of Cate Blanchetts – these were the films and unforgettable turns that made our festival

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'Machines'
15
11/15

'Machines'

First-timer Rahul Jain takes his cameras in a textile factory right outside of Calcutta and glides them through hallways, past weary workers and into the bowels of global capitalism in search of answers. What he emerges with is a poetic, humanistic look at a sweatshop that leaves its didacticism at the front door; even the interviews with laborers who've traveled hundreds of miles in search of work and one caricature of a boss don't feel like easy-target practice. The ending, in which his subjects begin to ask the man behind the camera how he will actually help them make their lives better – and are met with silence – feels like a damning indictment of first-world complicity, third-world exploitation and the whole notion of social-justice docmaking all at once.

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