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Sin Nombre

~Winner Sundance 2009~ Best Director & Best Cinematography

The script for Sin Nombre could’ve easily been passed to any of the three Mexican directors Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth), Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros) and Alfonso Cuarón (Y Tu Mamá También). Any of those virtuosic, big-name auteurs would’ve made a pulse-pounder praised by critics but gummed up by stylized direction, shaky camerawork and needless narrative acrobatics. In the careful, confident hands of California-born, NYU-schooled director Cary Joji Fukunaga, Sin Nombre is instead an elegant, heartbreaking fable, equal parts Shakespearean tragedy, neo-Western and mob movie, but without the pretension of those genres. How strange it is to praise an American director (especially one making his first feature, with much at stake, in Mexico) for his restraint. Fukunaga, who also wrote the script, has made one of the most memorable directorial debuts in recent memory. Sin Nombre deftly weaves two stories of desperation. The first centers on Willy (charismatic newcomer Edgar Flores), an introspective Mexican teenager beginning to chafe against the murderous strictures of his gang. The second follows Sayra (disarmingly played by Paulina Gaitan), a Honduran girl stowing away on a train through Mexico in the hopes of sneaking across the Texas border. As their fates collide and diverge, the film tenderly considers the rubs of a life lived on the verge of something – on the verge of death, of hope, of honour and dishonour, damnation and redemption. Sin Nombre is pure filmmaking: a great story told in beautiful images. – Dan Zak, The Washington Post

No screenings currently scheduled.

Directed by: 
Cary Fukunaga
Running Time: 
Spanish with English subtitles
Paulina Gaitan, Edgar Flores, Kristyan Ferrer, Tenoch Huerta Mejía
Screenplay by: 
Cary Fukunaga

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