The Golden Dream

"Excellent"

The Golden Dream Review


Despite a tough and rather bleak story, this Central American drama is bolstered by strikingly beautiful cinematography and involving characters. As a result, the film is funny, scary and sometimes darkly unnerving simply because it puts a very human face on an important issue. The focus is on one of the largest human migrations currently going on in the world, as Latin Americans head north to the land of promise.

The journey begins in Guatemala, where three 16-year-olds run away from home with plans of making a better life in the United States. The leader is Juan (Brandon Lopez), a perpetually angry kid with a big chip on his shoulder. He's accompanied by his hapless pal Samuel (Carlos Chajon) and the tenacious Sara (Karen Martinez), who chops her hair off and straps up her chest so she can pose as a boy named Oswaldo. Along the road they meet Chauk (Rodolfo Dominguez), an indigenous boy their age who speaks very little Spanish, and he joins them as they head north into Mexico, where they're caught and sent home. Samuel decides to stay there, but the other three hit the road again, hitching rides on trucks and trains as they inch their way north with hundreds of other hopeful migrants.

While there are moments of levity along the way, and several sequences in which these bedraggled pilgrims get help from locals and priests, the most memorable scenes in the film involve horrific encounters with thugs who take advantage of people who are at their most vulnerable. The random, sudden violence is horrific as they traverse mountains and deserts, expansive landscapes and bustling villages. Yes, the film also works as a picturesque travelogue through Central America's geography and culture. And these remarkable young actors make it vivid and utterly gripping, creating complex chemistry between themselves and the people they meet.

Filmmaker Diego Quemada-Diaz takes the audience on the trip with these young people, experiencing their yearning hope and moments of refreshing humanity in between times when they're roughed up by cops, chased by immigration officers and attacked by bandits. By the end, their companionship is all they have, and even that is pretty fragile along this road. In this sense, it almost feels like the film was funded by the Guatemalan government in an attempt to debunk the myth that only paradise awaits. But the film is so artfully assembled that it's also a vital document to the rest of us, ra reminder that these immigrants are people just like us who are dreaming of a better life for their families.



The Golden Dream

Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Run time: 108 mins

In Theaters: Friday 9th May 2014

Production compaines: ANIMAL DE LUZ FILMS, MACHETE PRODUCCIONES

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

IMDB: 7.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Diego Quemada-Diez

Producer: Edher Campos, Inna Payan, Luis Salinas

Starring: Karen Martínez as Sara, Rodolfo Domínguez as Chauk, Brandon López as Juan, Carlos Chajon as Samuel

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.