Cary Fukunaga :: USA, Mexico :: 2009 :: 1h36
Sayra is picked up in Honduras by her father, who she barely knows, to take her up north with him to New Jersey (USA). Without money and without papers. Once on her rough and dangerous journey to a prospective better life, she meets the young Mexican gangster Willy. The young man, nicknamed Casper, had grown up in the violent Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS) gang. Their stories begin to intertwine as Casper slowly but surely turns his back on the gang, and Sayra takes his hand so they can run together.
Sin Nombre (“without a name”) drags us through the underbelly of society, along the railway tracks, with the aspiring immigrants, the profiteers, and the omni present gangsters. The dangerous journey they embark on, is one which will define their lifetime. For Sayra, if she makes it to her family in New Jersey, she will be at the beginning of her new life as an illegal immigrant. However it turns out, her story will have started with that continental crossing, on the roof of that train. For Willy, who knows he can not outrun his Casper shadow, his future is as uncertain as the whims which control the life and death of a gangster.
Carefully put together with an excellent cast, Sin Nombre is as a fictional companion to La Vida Loca, with the wider perspective of poverty and migration in North America. Long after you have left the film, you will still see the train cutting through the countryside with, on the roof, a mass huddled together dreaming of a better future for themselves. A dream, which survives through the hardships and cruelty of the world. A tough watch.