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“It’s a marvelous mixture of surrealism and social satire that depicts the American dream as a nightmare of bureaucracy and phone calls to customer service. There’s nothing more absurd, the film argues, than the mundane.” —Shirley Li, The Atlantic

Written and directed by Julio Torres, Problemista is a surreal adventure through the equally treacherous worlds of New York City and the U.S. immigration system. Alejandro (Torres) is an aspiring toy designer from El Salvador, struggling to bring his unusual ideas to life in New York City. As time on his work visa runs out, a job assisting an erratic art-world outcast (Tilda Swinton) becomes his only hope to stay in the country and realize his dream.

98 minutes

Magnolia at the Modern is an ongoing series featuring critically acclaimed films. Tickets are $10; $8 for Friend-level Modern members; $7 for Associate-level Modern members and above. The Sunday noon showtime is half price. Click here to purchase tickets online. Learn more for information about the special benefits of joining Reel People, a membership add-on for film enthusiasts. 

We have a new option for assistive listening, the Listen Everywhere phone app that plays the film’s audio through your Bluetooth hearing aids or any phone headphones.