Harrowing, brutal, beautiful, the journey of 3 young boys from Guatemala to the the land of honey and freedom the US. The journey incorporated the the Mexican wall which I saw for the first time. I didn’t know that one already existed.
The director cut his teeth working with Ken Loach on Land and Freedom, and it bares some influence of Loach.
The three are joined by an Indian with no common language to them, disliked by their dominant leader, welcomed by the boy that turns out to be Sara (in disguise for reasons that become too apparent later, when at gun point the women separated for rape). Money, drugs, gangs, corruption, hunger, drive the journey that is always on a wonderful rusty train flowing on tracks of as much grass and flower as track, through extraordinary landscape that they are seeking to escape from. Where the one survivor arrives – a meat factory in LA – is beyond words.
The Guardian clinches it:
The terrifying tribulations the ramshackle group encounter are culled from the recollections of hundreds of migrants – a microcosm of a far wider human tragedy, made all the more alarming by its apparent mundanity. Yet it’s the warmth and compassion of the storytelling that really strikes home. Quemada-Díez meets his young charges on equal terms, viewing the world through their eyes, seeing its strange wonder even as they gaze unflinchingly at an unforgiving future. The result is at once urgent, defiant, and heartbreaking.