SIN NOMBRE joined its compassionate but bleak hand in 2009 with the classic likes of El Norte, Maria Full Of Grace, Fast Food Nation and A Better Life in portraying some of the countless individual human tragedies that make up the epic diaspora of people from Central America and Mexico in their desperate, daunting journey to something approaching hope in the colossus of the North.
I wonder how many of the flag-waving ‘natives’ (who must have gotten here somehow, guess I need to look it up in Hannitypedia) who squeal about having to shell out bucks for these new arrivals would do if they were the ones trying to get across hundreds of miles of hostile environment while being fleeced, attacked and left for vultures? I guess in order to look up empathy, you need to be able to read in the first place, and besides, we need all our Monopoly money to build new fighter jets to bring freedom to the Middle East.
Meanwhile, back to the movie…..this strong, sad drama has ‘Casper’ (Edgar Flores) trying to get out of his Chiapas faction of MS-13 (the grotesque Mara Salvatrucha) after his girlfriend has been murdered. He encounters a Honduran family on a train bound for the North, and their linked odyssey has them pursued by the vengeful gang. Paulina Gaitan plays the Honduran girl who Casper bonds with, Kristyan Ferrer the banger initiate leading the chase.
Directed and written by Cary Joji Fukunaga, produced by Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, the movie won numerous awards, was successful at the box office ($5,000,000), runs a lean 96 minutes, and is a gripping journey all the way. Excellent cinematography by Adriano Goldman, the richness of his visual choices corroborating two years of intimate research the writer-director spent, including much time around the feared gang—now that takes guts. Harrowing.