Critically acclaimed when it was released earlier this year (and had a short run at the Cedar Lee), Cary Fukunaga's immigrant tale Sin Nombre comes to the Cinematheque this week, screening at 5:30 tonight at 3:05 p.m. Sunday, July 5. Here's our review of the film.
Sin Nombre (Mexico/U.S., 2009) The debut feature of Cary Fukunaga, Sin Nombre (Nameless) was a sensation at Sundance, where it won prizes for direction and cinematography, and earned Fukunaga a development deal with Focus Features. The story of a Mexican gang that preys on immigrants who ride trains headed for the U.S., the movie is impressively made. Fukunaga researched the film by riding the rails himself and mastering the difficult art of shooting on a moving train, and the talented cinematographer Adriano Goldman graces the film with haunting Mexican landscapes. It brings together Wily (Edgar Flores), nicknamed “El Casper,” a member of a brutal, elaborately tattooed gang in Tapachulas, Chiapas, Mexico, and a Honduran girl, Sayra (Paulina Gaitan), who joins her estranged father on a journey to the U.S., where she dreams of living. Willie, forced to escape from the gang — a group so vicious they kill their enemies and feed them to their dogs — saves Sayra from an attack and is reluctantly bound to her for the rest of the perilous trip. For all its visual beauty and technical brilliance, the movie is unsentimental to the point of emotional flatness, offering insufficient sweetness to offset the horrifying violence. *** (Pamela Zoslov)