The animation in Bendito machine is based on shadow puppetry and is done brilliantly. The film is both utopic and dystopic because it manages to capture beautifully, people's fascination for new machines, the high it gives them, and then their slave-like submission, and finally their irreverent rejection of the very same machine when a new one comes down from the sky. The rust and yellow used in the background create the right mood in the film -- one of ecstasy and somehow, a sense of doom.
I think it would be useful for me to try and attempt to answer the questions raised.
What is this film suggesting are the ecological and social implications of an obsession or fixation on technology?
Social implications would be the changed lifestyles of people and their negligence of other activities after the advent of the new gadget. The tribals follow the TV god wherever he goes, and they do whatever he tells them to do. Ecological implications are symbolised by the stark ambience of the film, by the absence of green, by the piles of e-waste and a sole bird trying to feed on these piles.
Do the film’s characters have any choice in relation to their technologies?
Perhaps they do, but it seems like they have no choice because what they do is an activity driven by human will, not necessarily to meet a need. The man climbing up a steep hill perhaps signifies the research that happens in the R&D labs of Apple or Samsung.
What are the characteristics of various technologies as portrayed in this film?
The perspective of this film is technological determinism where technology determines social change. Technology as shown in this film dominates human behaviour. However, despite this, human beings are in control because they constantly replace old technology with new, with no thought of the consequences of doing so.