Country: Guatemala / others
Movie Review: The first feature film by Spanish director Diego Quemada-Diez, “The Golden Dream”, follows the same lines adopted by Cary Fukunaga’s “Sin Nombre”, becoming less stereotyped and considerably more appealing than that one. The film centers in three Guatemalan adolescent friends who join efforts and embark in a perilous illegal journey on train, and later on foot, towards the US border. Juan, Sara and Samuel leave their slums, just to be busted and robbed by Mexican migration forces. Sent to the point of departure, Samuel decides to stay, but Juan and Sara, well accompanied by a loyal Indian boy called Chauk, decide to try again. There’s some crispation between the two male protagonists, once they dispute Sara who travels disguised of a boy. Along the way, a lot of misery is seen - human trafficking, exploitation, and kidnaps for ransoms are a constant danger. The destinies of each one of them will differ but even those who make it through the border, attaining the so expected golden dream, aren’t free from disillusion. The solid camera work wasn’t a surprise, since Quemada-Diez is a former camera operator; the real surprise came from the incredible performances by the young actors, all of them non-professional, and worthy of the A Certain Talent prize for the ensemble at Cannes. Apart from the authenticity felt, “The Golden Dream” better achievement was to expose a powerful sad story without resorting to sentimentality. A great debut by a newcomer director/writer from whom we expect awesome things in the future.