Sayra, a Honduran teen on her way North to start a new life, finds danger and friendship.
Having ridden the rails in the name of research, Cary Fukunaga clearly appreciates the perils that migrants face while heading north through Latin America. He also has a sure grasp of the codes and rituals of the notorious Mara Salvatrucha gang that stalks the region. But his ambitious attempt to merge the social deprivation stories of Honduran waif Paulina Gaitan and Mexican teen Edgar Flores with a Hitchcockian chase thriller isn’t always as persuasive.
Nothing should detract from the evocative imagery or laudably naturalistic performances. But Fukunaga always seems more aware of the cinematic value of his material than emphasising its politico-economic significance.
Captivatingly naturalistic performances and cinematography almost makes up for the lack of a larger political framework.