Cary Joji Fukunaga / MEX - USA, 2008
Spanish version / Czech subtitles, 96 min
Seventeen-year-old Casper is a member of the Mara Salvatrucha Mexican street gang, which considers the death of a rival gang member the prime goal. A fateful coincidence brings him together with same-aged Sayra who, along with her father and uncle, is trying to cross into the United States on a train roof via Honduras and Mexico. Debut director Fukunaga skillfully mixes various genres – thriller, illegal immigration social drama, love story, and western – without any of them seeming unbelievable. The movie’s striking visual aspect makes use of the photogenic Mexican landscape as seen from the roof of the train and yet it never slips into pretentiousness. The director subordinated his selection of little-known actors and nonactors to the strong emphasis on authenticity. The striking realism of the performances along with Fukunaga’s masterly control over image and story make Sin nombre one of the most remarkable debuts of recent years.