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The Golden Dream 

Wednesday, Jan 27 2016

Stuntwork in film doesn't often get the respect it deserves, especially these days when spectacular feats of death-defiance can be achieved with pixels. Diego Quemada-Díez's The Golden Dream is by no means an action film, but it has plenty of impressive stuntwork. The film chronicles Guatemalan teenagers Juan (Brandon López), Samuel (Carlos Chajon), and Sara (Karen Martínez) as they make the dangerous trek to America. Sara cuts her hair and presents as male for all-too-obvious safety reasons, and the trio is soon joined by a Mayan teen named Chauk, whose presence Juan objects to because Chauk doesn't speak Spanish. (Everyone is someone else's outsider.) They and the dozens of other northward-bound pilgrims spend a lot of time jumping on and off the tops of trains — and it's all done for real, in camera. Safety precautions were no doubt taken, but, yikes. Also functioning as a touching coming-of-age picture, it's appropriate that the scenes of the kids walking (safely) along railroad tracks evoke Stand By Me. It's worth noting that the film is being released domestically as The Golden Dream, when the original title, La Jaula de Oro, actually translates to The Golden Cage. In the end, The Golden Abbatoir might not have been inappropriate, either. SC


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Sherilyn Connelly


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