The Golden Dream

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(2013) ★★★

Channel 4: PREMIERE Tuesday 1 September, 1.40am

A trio of Guatemalan teenagers – Brandon López’s Juan, Carlos Chajon’s Samuel and, disguised as a boy, Karen Martínez’s Sara – journey through Mexico on their way to the fabled ‘better life’ in the US of A.

The obstacles are many and dangerous on all sides of the railroad tracks in migrant tribulations long made familiar by the likes of El Norte and Sin Nombre.

Director Diego Quemada-Díez was formerly a camera assistant on a trio of Ken Loach films (Carla’s Song, Land and Freedom, Bread and Roses), so any freight train lyricism is subordinate to harsh reality.

It’s heartfelt, for sure. Just don’t expect any of the cinematic grandeur of Emanuele Crialese’s imposing immigrant song from 2006, Golden Door.

Certificate: 15

Duration: 108min

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