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

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Movie Review

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Movie Review

Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie brings a dark and gritty tone to this larger-than-life franchise. Along with...

Beyond the Reach Movie Review

Beyond the Reach Movie Review

With a spectacular setting and two solid actors on-screen, this thriller builds enough solid suspense...

Cub Movie Review

Cub Movie Review

At a time when horror movies seem to only want to make the audience jump,...

Inside Out Movie Review

Inside Out Movie Review

Those bright sparks at Pixar have done it again, taking a fiercely original approach to...

Advertisement
Southpaw Movie Review

Southpaw Movie Review

Slick direction and meaty performances may be enough for some viewers, but this boxing drama's...

Eden Movie Review

Eden Movie Review

Loose and impressionistic, this beautifully shot film traces the career of a DJ who pioneered...

The Gallows Movie Review

The Gallows Movie Review

Without a single moment of originality, this found-footage horror movie really deserves to be the...

Self/Less Movie Review

Self/Less Movie Review

An intriguing premise keeps the audience gripped for about 20 minutes before the movie runs...

Advertisement