La Jaula de Oro | Chicago Reader

La Jaula de Oro

Three young Guatemalans head for the U.S., join up with an Indian roughly their age, and encounter every conceivable obstacle as they try to penetrate the border from Mexico: immigration officials, corrupt cops, cartels selling migrant women into prostitution, kidnappers seizing immigrants with American contacts, heartless coyotes transporting people over the border, and patrolling Minutemen. Directed by Diego Quemada-Diez, this Mexican drama might call to mind El Norte (1983), Gregory Nava's Oscar-nominated picture about Guatemalans trying to enter the U.S. illegally, but the minimal dialogue and handheld camera make it subtler and far less melodramatic. Working with so little dialogue, the young actors are that much more impressive, and by avoiding any overt editorializing, Quemada-Diez creates a haunting and effective vision of illegal immigration in all its gruesomeness. In Spanish and Tzotzil with subtitles.

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