A gritty Mexican film about a boy on the run in an attempt to escape gang life and an immigrant family’s overwhelming journey to America. The two stories meet halfway when the family’s young daughter, Sayra, and the boy, Casper, form a special bond.
If only everyone who views immigrants simply as “illegal” people coming to steal our jobs and futures could see this movie. It gives such a real and powerful glimpse into the lives of families trying to escape violence and hardship so they can pursue a life of happiness. Putting themselves in constant danger travelling great lengths only to be deported. Sin Nombre means “without name,” showing how in many cases illegal immigrants are viewed only as “pests” rather than people. Maybe a film like this could give some insight to the Minutemen and others who are trying to “protect” our borders.
It’s worth noting that director Cary Joji Fukunaga spent time travelling with immigrants by train for preparation, and considering how authentic the film is I’d say the ample amount of research payed off. It manages to be a great study of gang life, immigration, and poverty while also being genuinely entertaining and thrilling. Of what I’ve seen this is my favorite directorial debut of 2009, and has maybe the most beautiful cinematography. It’s one of those films where just about every shot deserves to be hung up on the wall or turned into a poster.
I also have to mention that this was produced by Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal. I think that fact will give a few people I know a little extra motivation to see this.