Sin Nombre

Posted by schnolis on April 10th, 2009 filed in Reviews

SIN NOMBREMost of us take for granted the chance we have to live our lives, pursue honest work, and generally behave on what principles we value. Reality is not so fortunate to many, especially those living in squalid conditions worldwide. There are places where extreme poverty and few opportunities result in drug trafficking, brutal gangs and human casualties.

Sin Nombre (which translates to “The Nameless” or “Without a Name”) is a tale about the struggle of these untold thousands and millions who seek only the opportunity to escape the deprivation. In particular, it centers on two people. Willy (Edgar Flores) is a young man who has chosen the life of a gang member. He appears to have done this for practical purposes–protection and security. He keeps his personal life private, at the very physical risk of a few beatings. Sayra (Paulina Gaitan) is a young woman who is being taken to the United States by her long-absent father. They’re trying to ride freight trains all the way through Mexico to get to the US.

Willy and Sayra meet on one of these trains under a very stressful circumstance. A member of Willy’s gang is shaking down the illegal passengers. When he finds Sayra, he decides he wants more than her cash. Willy decides to take a stand, fully aware it will probably cost him his life. From then on he tries to help Sayra complete her journey. All the while they’re surrounded by nameless faces all trying to find their ultimate destination–hope and the freedom from poverty.

What I liked: Almost everything from a nearly perfect movie. The cinematography was awesome. The story was touching and brutal, and the absence of real hope from each person in the movie was palpable, though in greatly different ways.

What I disliked: I would have liked to have known more about Sayra earlier in the movie. While I understand that developing that story more might have limited the drama in the events that did happen, I think that an opportunity was missed there.

Rating: 9 of 10

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