7.6/10
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87 user 159 critic

Sin Nombre (2009)

Sin nombre (original title)
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2:02 | Trailer

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A Honduran young girl and a Mexican gangster are united in a journey across the American border.

Director:

Cary Joji Fukunaga (as Cary Jôji Fukunaga)
14 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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A drama based on the experiences of Agu, a child soldier fighting in the civil war of an unnamed African country.

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A mousy governess who softens the heart of her employer soon discovers that he's hiding a terrible secret.

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On her first visit to East Africa, a young woman crosses paths with the Ranger charged with being her guide. They have something in common and when they meet, a light within them both begins to flicker.

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Stars: Haley Bennett, Jane Deiya, Lady Delamere
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marco Antonio Aguirre Marco Antonio Aguirre ... Big Lips
Leonardo Alonso Leonardo Alonso ... Policía Judicial
Karla Cecilia Alvarado Karla Cecilia Alvarado ... Marera
Juan Pablo Arias Barrón Juan Pablo Arias Barrón ... Niño #3
Rosalba Belén Barrón Rosalba Belén Barrón ... Niño #2
Felipe Castro Felipe Castro ... Marero (as Sixto Felipe Castro)
Rosalba Quintana Cruz Rosalba Quintana Cruz ... Tierra Blanca Mujer
Marcela Feregrino Marcela Feregrino ... Kimberly
Kristyan Ferrer ... El Smiley (as Kristian Ferrer)
Edgar Flores ... Willy 'El Casper'
Giovani Florido Giovani Florido ... El Sipe (as Giovanni Florido)
Paulina Gaitan ... Sayra
Ariel Galvan Ariel Galvan ... Migrante #1
Diana García ... Martha Marlene
Gabriela Garibaldi Gabriela Garibaldi ... Diana
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Storyline

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 IMDb Editors

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The greatest sin of all is risking nothing.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Mexico | USA

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

17 April 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sin Nombre See more »

Filming Locations:

Torreón, Coahuíla, Mexico

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$81,446, 22 March 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,534,351, 12 July 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title "Sin Nombre" translates as "without a name." See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of the film, the city labeled as "Reynosa, Tamaulipas" is actually "Monterrey, Nuevo Leon." See more »

Quotes

Sayra: 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.8 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

La última Palabra
Written by Daniel C. Pineda
Performed by Bulmaro Martínez V., Maurilio López Guerra
Authorized by "El Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia"
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The pain of viewing was worth it
29 April 2009 | by alrodbelSee all my reviews

Let's call this film a documentary. Sure, these were actors following a script. But more importantly, it documents a segment of life that few readers in the developed world have any insight into.

For those who avoid graphic violence, I suggest reading the section on this site that describes specifically what it is, and shut your eyes selectively. I did; but still couldn't relax enough to have dinner afterward until I downed several shots of Scotch. I was shaken, my throat constricted, and imbued with a feeling that may be a mild dose of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

But documentaries are like that. And when I read that the writer-director, Cary Joji Fukunaga, had actually lived with his subjects, and risked his life voluntarily, as they do out of routine necessity, I consider the least I can do is vicariously experience this reality. It is a reality that I see every day in the frightened eyes of those stunted young men congregating around "Home Depot" looking for a day's wages.

It reflects a life so mean, so violent, that the lawless Tijuana is a Nirvana compared to their home slums of Honduras and Guatemala. So first they come to Mexico, then ride the trains to the ultimate goal, America. In doing so they run a gauntlet of dangers that could only be conveyed in a dramatization such as this.

Empathy, compassion to all in our society, is a luxury for those born into a world where such emotion is the norm. Even in America's imperfect society, the rule of law predominates and the random violence is still newsworthy. The people in this film, especially the gang members had no such choice. These gangs provide a circle of affection and caring, but it is defined by the contrast between those who are their "homies" and the outsiders, the other gangs, for whom cruelty has no limits.

On a day trip last week to Baja California, we were stopped at a check point configured exactly like the one in the film. A single soldier in bullet proof vest surrounded by sand bags with a 50 caliber machine gun pointed at our car. My friend struck up a conversation with the guard; they both smiled, and we went on our way, to stop at a bakery right before crossing the border and heading to our home in Encinitas.

Similar check points; but for those refugees in "Sin Nombres" huddled in the empty car on the truck, their lives depended on not being seen. If they had been spotted, and then run out of fear, the machine gun would have killed them in a second, by soldiers hardened by the same violence they face.

My day trip to Mexico, while covering same type of territory, could not have been more different. I had my American Express Card and an American Passport, along with a cloak of protection by the norms of an ordered society. Those depicted in the film had none of this. Their lives were determined at the moment of their birth, with choices so limited that their desperate Odyssey to reach what was my birthright was their best available option .

This is an important film. Perhaps it should be edited with the more horrible graphic acts simply alluded to, to make it more accessible to a wider audience in America. While it provides no political prescription, it conveys an accurate picture of the reality of life just below our border.

If there is to be a political plan to addressing our "illegal immigrant" problem, at the least it should be informed by the road taken by those depicted in this powerful film.


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