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SXSW (At Home): 'Call Center Blues' Review

Movie Reviews

SXSW (At Home): ‘Call Center Blues’ Review

‘Call Center Blues’ follows an interesting group that work in a call center.

AIPT will continue some of its planned coverage of SXSW. We have been in contact with creators and their representatives in order to continue to give films coverage. We will respect all embargoes and work to give these films and our readers the coverage we had planned.

Almost everyone has spent some time working in a call center. It is a right of passage for many before they move on to their actual careers. Though they will be able to tell some wild stories, few people speak fondly of their experience. That being said, it is an environment and job many can relate to.

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Call Center Blues is a different take on working in call centers. The film follows a group of U.S. deportees who work at a call center in Tijuana, Mexico. Instead of portraying the centers as soulless employers whose main concern is profit, the documentary looks at how they are helping their employees. 

SXSW (At Home): 'Call Center Blues' Review

Director Geeta Gandbhir immediately puts the audience in a familiar atmosphere. Various shots of the call center are filled with the familiar telemarketer pitches. Even those who have not worked in a call center know the verbiage. Call Center Blues is not a look at the inner workings of a call center, however. The short examines the workers of a particular one.

It is an interesting setting since most already have an unflattering view of call centers and their employees. Gandbhir fills her documentary with characters who genuinely want to work hard for a better life. Ironically, none of the people interviewed have the dynamic personalities expected. That does not prevent the stories from drawing you in.

Director Geeta Gandbhir tells an interesting story. Her short documentary puts a new spin on a familiar place. Call Center Blues is more about the people than the actual workplace. Very little time is spent in the actual call center. The film ends just as it is about to explore deeper themes, but it still manages to tell intimate stories.

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