Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga / Mexico, USA / 2009 / Colour / 96 mins
Synopsis Seventeen-year-old Casper is a member of a Mexican street gang, which considers the assassination of a rival gang member their 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. Following the lives of these two teenagers, Sin Nombre tells the story of thousands of poor youth in Central America trying to cope with a society that has nothing for them.
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 is the unpretentious use of the photogenic Mexican landscape as seen from the roof of the train.
Fukunaga, was inspired by a 2003 story about 80 illegals, found locked in a truck and abandoned in Texas, of which nineteen died. The striking realism of the performances of little known actors along with Fukunaga’s masterly control over image and story make this, one of the most remarkable debuts of recent years. “Sin Nombre” won the awards for best direction and cinematography at Sundance 2009.
Direction & Screenplay Cary Joji Fukunaga
Production Amy Kaufman Cinematography Adriano Goldman
Music Marcelo Zarvos
Editing Luis Carballar, Craig Mc Kay
Cast Paulina Gaitan, Edgar Flores, Kristyan Ferrer, Tenoch Huerta Mejia, Diana Garcia, Hector Jimenez, Luis Fernando Pena
Director Biography: Cary Joji Fukunaga (b. 1977, Oakland, California) graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Working as a screenwriter, director, and cameraman led him to disparate parts of the world, from the Arctic Circle to Haiti to West Africa. In 2005, at the Sundance festival he presented his debut as a director of short films, Victoria para Chino, which he wrote as well. The film took over 20 international awards, including a student Oscar and a Special Mention from the Los Angeles branch of the British Film and Television Academy.