August 3, 2010, Pima County, Arizona—Deep in the sun-blistered Sonora desert beneath a cicada tree, border police discover a decomposing male body. Lifting a tattered T-shirt, they expose a tattoo that reads “Dayani Cristal.” Who is this person? What brought him here?
A powerful political film concerning immigration wrapped inside a mystery, this documentary follows Gael García Bernal as he poignantly retraces the possible footsteps of an unidentified migrant to discover the hopes and aspirations of the Mexican working class.
Un documental mezclado con ficción, recreada por el mismo Gael García, que no sólo trata de responder la pregunta del título, sino que hace a las personas cuestionarse la responsabilidad individual en el problema de los migrantes que atraviesan por nuestro país. Excelente fotografía y un enfoque muy humano a un tema que se ha vuelto meras estadísticas, olvidando así que son seres humanos, con motivaciones y sueños.
Es un excelente film, en donde se logra humanizar aún más la situación de los migrantes. La recreación de los pasos de unos de ellos me deja sin palabras, a pesar de que es muy conocida cual es el peligroso camino y la triste situación de esta realidad
This movie is really touching. With the films reenactment of what took place and the accounts of the man's family members, the viewer gets a real sense of what many undocumented immigrants must overcome to reach the US and make a living for their families back home. In full, the product is a well made and truly moving documentary that gives light into the humanity that is in every immigrant that comes to the US.
Powerful indeed. Shows how the free trade agreements imposed by Mexican and Central American governments on their people destroy the livelihoods of those people forcing them to go elsewhere (the USA) in search of a better life. And how the US blocks what were regarded as "safe" routes forcing these people to take routes that are almost certain to end in their deaths. Released in 2013 even more relevant in 2017.
Superficially, WHO IS DAYANI CRISTAL? is a very touching and moving documentary about the experiences of illegal immigrants. My main issue with this film was, as much as it pains me to say this, Gael García Bernal. His scenes substracted cohesion to the film and authenticity to these real stories of real people. GGB felt artifically and unnecessarily inserted in this story that didn't really need him as an actor.
Who Is Dayani Cristal?, was an absolute pleasant surprise to find. From performance, to plot, there was a strong sense of drive throughout the film. I was a big fan of the direction and set of the scenes, it added up to an overall picture well worth the watch.
(2.5 stars) Movie succeeds most during its pure documentary form. It's biggest flaw is that it tries to insert Garcia Bernal into the film as a "character" instead of just himself. When he talks to real people and he is in "character" and they are just being their real selves... it is really awkward and in poor taste. I'm sure his heart was in the right place, but this was a terrible creative decision.