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Sin Nombre


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Product Details

  • Actors: Paulina Gaitan, Edgar Flores, Kristyan Ferrer, Diana Garcia, Tenoch Huerta Mejia
  • Directors: Cary Joji Fukunaga
  • Writers: Cary Joji Fukunaga
  • Producers: Amy Kaufman, Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Focus Features
  • DVD Release Date: September 1, 2009
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002FHGESI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,482 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sin Nombre" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Feature Commentary with Director Cary Fukunaga and Producer Amy Kaufman

  • Editorial Reviews

    Seeking the promise of America, a beautiful young woman, Sayra (Paulina Gaitan), joins her father on an odyssey to cross the gauntlet of the Latin American countryside. Along the way, she crosses paths with a teenaged Mexican gang member, El Casper (Edgar M. Flores), who is maneuvering to outrun his violent past. Together they have to rely on faith, trust and street smarts if they are to survive their increasingly perilous journey towards the hope of new lives.

    Customer Reviews

    Very good to real life movie, show what people really go through in life.
    Patricia Garza
    "Sin Nombre" is one of those very rare films that tries to make an epic artistic statement and actually succeeds.
    Chris Luallen
    Difficult to watch at times but a great depiction of immigration and gang life south of the border.
    Amanda F. Vega

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    59 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Ben Dover on May 15, 2009
    Verified Purchase
    "Sin Nombre" is a fantastic debut for Cary Joji Fukunaga - an epic about all the harrowing obstacles that illegal immigrants from Central America face before they ever even reach the U.S. border, if they even make it that far. You can appreciate this movie whatever your politics because it's refreshingly free of preaching and lectures and messages. I'm against illegal immigration but I still got caught up in it on an emotional level. Fukunaga simply presents a straightforward story concerning Sayra, a Honduran girl about 15 y/o and Willy, a Mexican boy a little older, maybe 17 y/o. The viewer is left to draw his or her own personal conclusions regarding the Big Picture of illegal immigration and Third World poverty and colonialism and imperialism and exploitation and economics and gangs and so on. I can remember seeing a TV newsmagazine segment a few years ago on how these migrants cross Mexico on the tops of cargo trains. Not inside the boxcars, but clinging to the tops of the cars. Apparently, the interiors of the cars are too dangerous because of bandits and/or rapists and murderers - both free-lance thugs and organized gangsters. At any rate, the whole scene is totally lawless. Anybody who attempts this journey is taking their life into their own hands. They're beset upon by not only the aforementioned bandits, but also the Mexican authorities, who seem entirely unsympathetic, to put it mildly. At the time I thought: "What a great premise for a movie!" Seems like Mr. Fukunaga agreed.

    I think the trailer gives away too much already, so I'll try to be careful what I say here. Willy is a member of Mara Salvatrucha and Sayra is making her way North when their paths intersect atop a train.
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    30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Karen Franklin on June 4, 2009
    Sin Nombre has it all - great acting, beautiful cinematography, powerful themes, and amazing realism. The realism is no accident. Young filmmaker Cary Fukunaga spent months in Mexico, interviewing both immigrants and gang members about their experiences. He shot on location, and many cast members are nonprofessionals. For example, Edgar Flores, in the lead role as a member of the Chiapas chapter of the brutal Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang, is straight off the streets of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

    Despite the specific setting of the tumultuous U.S.-Mexico border, Sin Nombre addresses powerful and universal themes of damnation and redemption. At least, that's how I saw it. In an interview, Fukunaga himself said he sees it as being about family - "the disintegration and recreation of the family unit in its unique and varying forms."

    The plot centers around a chance and fateful encounter between gang member Willy and a 15-year-old Honduran girl, Sayra (Paulina Gaitan), who is riding north through Mexico atop a train. Though Sayra's journey, viewers get an appreciation for the intense dangers faced by Central Americans trekking toward the promised land.

    Without giving away anything, I can tell you a bit of background on how the film came about. Fukunaga, a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, was in film school in New York when he read a New York Times story on a group of Mexican and Central American immigrants who died of asphyxiation and heat exhaustion while trapped and abandoned inside a refrigerated trailer. His short 2004 documentary about that case, "Victoria Para Chino," won multiple film awards.

    That project evolved into Sin Nombre, as Fukunaga explained in an IndieWire interview.
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    Format: DVD
    First time director Cary Fukunaga rode the rails himself in preparation to tell this heartbreaking story of a family on their way to the United States by hitching on top of a dangerous train. The narrative flows between the life of Mexican gangster Willi, whose secretive relationship with a city girl puts a rift between him and his "homies," and an introduction to Sayra, whose father has just been deported from the U.S., and plans to take her back with him to the family he has in New Jersey. A series of tragedies bring them together and force them to go on the run from Willi's former gang. The pacing is intense, and yet in the editing there is ample exploration of the setting, of the atmosphere and flavor, and a very strong sense of the wide variety in the geography and local culture encountered on the trek from the southern border of Mexico to Texas. It is beautifully shot, and brilliantly cast. The lead actor in the role of Willy (Edgar Flores) does such a remarkable job that it is hard to imagine he is playing a part -- even more astonishing given that this was his very first role in film. Paulina Gaytan as Sayra is equally convincing and compelling. This is a very impressive debut film -- and I have every expectation that we will continue to see excellent work from director Cary Fukunaga in the future. Highly recommended.
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    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By GabitaS on November 12, 2009
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    I was interested in purchasing this movie due to the fact that I had seen previews at a theater and it looked quite captivating. When it was released in video, I tried renting it for 2 months and it was never available so I just assumed that it was a popular movie. I decided to purchase it and the movie was different than what I had expected. It was a love story but moreso it had a twist that was quite a realistic plot about gang life of the MS-13 El Salvadoran gang and the gang culture and about what happens when you try to leave the gang. It also depicts the illegal immigrant way of life and the dangers encompassing their escape to the U.S. The story ending was very sad, almost depressing, but it leaves the viewer with the hope and anticipating that the young lady will be able to start a new life of freedom and opportunity.
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