Without Name - Latino/a Immigration in Fukunaga’s Sin Nombre
This paper discusses the film Sin Nombre (2009), directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, in relation to the portrayal of Latinos/as, and whether this film can be considered a piece of the “Culture Industry.” For the analysis of the movie, I apply the concepts discussed in class. Also, I compare this motion picture with some of the themes which Elana Zilberg describes in her essay “Fools Banished from the Kingdom: Remapping Geographies of Gang Violence between the Americas (Los Angeles and San Salvador)”.
The plot of this “fusion of a road movie, gangster epic[,] [w]estern and tragic romance” (Wood 1) is set in Latin America. It narrates the journey of Sayra, who is the main character and is played by Paulina Gaitan, going from Honduras to New Jersey. She travels with her uncle and father—the latter has been recently deported from the US. The purpose of the trip is to join their family in the U.S. where she hopes to be able to lead a better life.
Another important character in this movie is El Casper, also called Willy, played by Edgar Flores. He lives in Tapachula, Mexico, and is a member of the notorious and violent gang “Mara Salvatrucha Brotherhood,” also known as MS-13. El Casper comes across Sayra while following the gang’s orders to rob immigrants who are aboard the train where Sayra, her father and uncle are. El Casper and Sayra become acquainted and decide to travel together as the result of an incident. When the leader of the gang, Lil’Mago, tries to rape Sayra, El Casper kills him trying to protect her. Seeing no way to escape after the incident, he decides to travel with Sayra and to go to the U.S. to avoid the gang’s revenge, as Diestro-Dopido states, “in an attempt to reach the U.S. and avoid the gang's retribution” (Diestro-Dopido 1).