Honduran teenager Sayra reunites with her father, an opportunity for her to potentially realize her dream of a life in the U.S. Moving to Mexico is the first step in a fateful journey of unexpected events. Written by
The homemade gun, made of pieces of steel pipe, is called a 'chimba'. See more »
Towards the end of the film, the city labeled as "Reynosa, Tamaulipas" is actually "Monterrey, Nuevo Leon." See more »
Back home, my friend Clarissa made me see this crazy neighbor, Doña Eleanor, you know, like witchcraft? She smoked this puro, then told me with her freaky voice that I'd make it to the U.S. but not in God's hand, perhaps in the Devil's.
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Greetings again from the darkness. Nice to see the initial low rating has climbed after more people have discovered it. It is a riveting film that weaves together two heart-wrenching, gritty stories that would otherwise seem unrelated. It is beautifully and realistically photographed and provides no-frills story telling.
Director Cary Fukonaga throws the viewer into the middle of the brutally violent gang world at the same time he depicts the frightening desperation of Hondurans making their way through an unforgiving Mexico towards an unwelcoming United States. Trust me ... you don't wish to be part of either of these worlds.
The film is at its best when these two worlds collide and Willy/Casper makes a life-changing decision to help a would-be victim. Edgar Flores plays Willy/Casper as the reluctant gang member with a conscience who is just trying to have a life outside the gang. He plays hero to Paulina Gaitan's Sayra, who is on her way to see relatives in New Jersey. Ms. Gaitan reminds of the talented Catalina Sandino Moreno from the excellent "Maria Full of Grace". Willy and Sayra are an odd couple, but seem good for each other, though their destiny seems obvious from the first moment.
Some great footage of the inner workings of an ultra violent, macho world of gangs left me wondering how anyone could escape alive. These are very scary people. I can understand some finding this difficult to watch, but I can't understand how it can be mistaken for anything other than fine film-making.
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