Review of The Golden Dream by Diego Quemada-Díaz
I admit, I went to see The Golden Dream partly skeptical about the need of another movie about young immigrants from Central America on their journey to the USA. I do have a social conscience, that is not the problem, and I like to see these stories on film (I believe cinema has the obligation to show what happens out there, since the mass media has become a bit of an entertainment tool these days). I also feel more than respect for directors that don’t mask the truth and decide to give voice to those who don’t make it to the 6pm news. My skeptical attitude had more to do with the fact that I had seen Sin nombre (Cary Fukunaga, 2009) so I couldn’t stop wondering what would make this movie unique from the audience's point of view. I didn’t have to wait long to see the difference.
I was one of those lucky viewers who had the chance to listen to Quemada-Diaz explaining the process of filming The Golden Dream after the show. He struck me as a gentle but combative speaker. As he explained, he didn’t want to tell a horror story (there is not much happiness laying around of the way of illegal immigrants), but he manages to suggest the obstacles his characters, built out of real testimonies, will find on their way. He definitely succeeds on doing so without falling into explicit violence or using shocking images.
The Golden Dream is a beautifully shot movie with a poetic cinematography and the many unresolved and intriguing events of the lives of Sara, Chauk and specially Juan. It’s a tale of brotherhood and loyalty, in which the unexpected may be the key to survival.