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Top 10 Border Movies Resource Page

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What started out as a topic for my blog ended up becoming a hobby for me.  I reviewed several movies that had to do with the U.S./Mexican border, immigration, and the struggles each person endures while making such an epic journey. The following 10 films were the ones I felt were the most informational and entertaining.

Sin Nombre: This film combines two stories. One involves a young woman, Sayra, a native of Honduras who embarks on a journey with her father and uncle to escape Guatemala/Mexico and hopes to bring her relatives to a more promising New Jersey. The other involves a young gang member, Willy (aka “Casper”), from South Mexico who makes a living robbing people who ride the train. Eventually, the two cross paths and endure vicious racism, the dangers of gang violence and the terrible struggles of the ultimate fight for freedom.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico: Big names are thrown into this film, including: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp, Mickey Rourke,and Eva Mendes. It is a sequel to Desperado and is action-packed entertainment. The President of Mexico has declared war on the explosive drug cartel. However, they have a scandalous plan of their own. An agent sent from the CIA is stuck trying to make sure their plan does not follow through, and does this by hiring a hit-man to take the mob down. A trap is set, the bait is there and all that needs to happen is for the notorious group to fall in. Who will win the epic battle of Good vs, Bad? 

El Alambrista: At fist glance, El Alambrista is simply a tale of an aspiring Mexican wrestler who eventually makes his way to the U.S. to support his family. However, after watching this movie twice, the well-directed action scenes, witty humor, and underlying tones of battling racism, this movie is a bonafide awesome work of a low budget yet high quality film. After a family tragedy, the main character embarks on the most dangerous journey of his life so far: crossing the border.Including scenes with corrupt police and the struggles that illegal immigrants bravely face, El Alambrista offers a realistic portrayal of what "crossing" must be like.

Dying to Get In: Even though this film may be more difficult than usual to get a hold of, it is well worth the wait, as it is one of the few documentaries that really lets you walk in someoneelse's shoes. This film, featured on the Discovery Channel is a short documentary in which the director Brett Tolley, literally takes this infamous journey along with a group of Hispanics, through the Sonora Desert into Arizona.

Quinceanara: As Magdalena’s15th birthday rapidly approaches where she'll celebrate her quinceanara, her seemingly perfect world is turned upside down when she finds out she is pregnant. As if not fitting into her gown for her special day wasn’t enough, she will also be kicked out of her house and abandoned by her family. The only one left who is willing to take in Magdalena, is her great-granduncle, Tomas and her trouble making cousin, Carlos. This story is very touching and also holds very important lessons about the practice of safe sex or abstinence to young adults. Especially in the Hispanic community, teen-pregnancy is looked down upon, so much so that you could face getting ex-communicated from your own family. Magdalena struggles with discrimination, segregation, and stereotypes as she battles her worst fears in this coming-of-age tale.

All the Pretty Horses: This film released in 2000, is about a young drifter from Texas,John Grady Cole(Matt Damon) who crosses the border with high hopes. Written by Laurence Mixson, and directed by the infamous Billy Bob Thorton, this movie is thrilling, heartbreaking, and inspiring.Set in the 1940's, border crossing was still unsafe and unsure, however the two boys are not coming to America, but leaving. Cole and his friend Lacey Rawlins find Mexico to be beautiful yet also very unwelcoming and mysterious.Hardships galore, the two make their way into the heart of Mexico.

The Border Film Project: This film is really an form of art, expressed through the distribution of disposable cameras to 2 different groups of people, one on each side of the U.S./Mexican border.Some members of one group are undocumented migrants crossing the horrific span of desert which leads to the U.S.The other group? Includes die hard conservatives and people who are thoroughly devoted to keeping immigrants out of the U.S. (or "Minutemen"), even if it means taking strangers'  lives. A recent update on the site states that they have already received over 73 cameras, an almost even split of the two groups (38 from migrants and 35 from Minutemen)coming together to create almost 2,000 photographs. One of the main missions on the project was to really "put a face", a human face that is to immigration into the US. It was also intended to obviously document the terrific struggles, tragedies, and heroic tales of those on both sides of the border.

La Misma Luna: This movie portrays two similar stories of a young boy, Carlitos, and his optimistic mother Rosario. Rosario hopes for her son to have a better life than she, and in order to do so she illegally works in the U.S. while Carlitos' grandmother looks after him back home in Mexico. Some highly unforeseen events lead to both Rosario and Carlitos to go about different paths, showing how each copes with their own difficulties of being apart, and adapting to a new lifestyle. However, both mother and son try relentlessly to reunite. Even though they both face their own set of challenges and struggles with diversity, discrimination, living illegally, and being apart from the ones you love most- they never give up hope of one day being a family again. Even though the cast is made up of largely "unknown" actors, each shines in their own part, including America Ferrera, who is also seen in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants".

Trade: This film tells the story of a 13-year-old girl who is kidnapped by sex traffickers in Mexico City and the victim’s 17-year-old brother, Jorge’s mission to rescue her.  This film exposes the underground network of criminals who earn millions selling their human cargo. This gripping tale of  a brother trying to rescue his baby sister from the dark world of sex trafficking is a riveting and chilling tale of what really goes on in some areas south of the border.

Crossing Arizona: Seen through the eyes of many who are involved of the immigration of illegal aliens, this movie tells all sides of this national problem. Including tales from frustrated ranchers, humanitarian groups, political activists, and minutemen, this film does an excellent job of showing all aspects. Crossing Arizona shows the different views and concerns that people from all walks of life have on this specific issue.

Written by Marcy Christine Jones You are reading Top 10 Border Movies Resource Page articles

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