Movies That Take Place Along the Mexican Border, In Honor of ‘2 Guns’
Movie #3: The Foreign Film – Sin Nombre
Year – 2009
Sin Nombre is tragic tale about the choices people make when they have no choices. Shot in an almost-documentary-style, it is a stark story; think Slumdog Millionaire without all of that pesky “hope”. First time director Cary Fukunaga shows a deft hand illustrating the poverty of Central America, the inner workings of gang life, and the dangers that come (from both the law and the lawless) with migration. While the movie is about illegal immigrants, it refrains from taking sides. Fukunaga merely shows us that world. Viewers are allowed to draw their own conclusions.
The film stars newcomer Edgar Flores as Willy: a Mexican teenage gang member caught in the midst of an existential crisis. He’s in love with Martha (Diana Garcia), a non-gang affiliated girl. He’s desperate to hide his gang activities from her, even if it leads her to believe he’s cheating. Adding to his uncertainty is the increasing amount of guilt he feels over helping 12-year old Smiley (Kristian Ferrer) join his gang. The pacing can be a bit slow at times but ultimately it’s a dogged, if painful, look at the world of gangs and emigrants; a virtual travelogue of the beauty and squalor that is Central America. In the end, it’s perhaps an easier film to admire than it is to like. – TOK