The Golden Dream, directed by Diego Quemada-Diez, follows the journey that four young teens take across Mexico in hopes of reaching the United States. Quemada examines the reproductive choices for women, the role of narcos and coyotes, la bestia, and the divide amongst indigenous and ladino peoples. This film is vital to watch when it comes to establishing a better sense of the long and life risking journeys that our people have to make to reach El Norte.
The Golden Dream is a film that tells the story of how many people flee their countries to seek a better life in the United States. The film tells the story of four teenagers, Juan, Sara, Chauk, and Samuel, who are seeking a better life in “El Norte”. Through their journey one sees the many struggles that migrants have to go through that sometimes causes them to back out. One can see that “La Migra,” is aware that migrants are always fleeing and traveling on trains therefore they stop these trains and make everyone get off. Some people escape and receive help from some villagers, but some are caught and are deported back to their country. These trains do not just stop for “La Migra” Narcos also stop them and steal these migrant’s money and valuables. They also separate all the women from the men and they most likely take them for sex trafficking. There are many more risks for these migrants, and one sees this in the film that migrants are vulnerable and that one cannot trust anyone.
When the four teenagers head out on their journey to “El Norte”, one can see that they are aboard a train and soon arrive to a town somewhere in Mexico. While in this town, Sara and Samuel put on a show for the crowd to make money so they can eat. Chauk is following them around and Juan does not like him and wants him to leave them alone. Sara is the one who is welcoming, and she is the one who offers him food and water. Juan, Sara, and Samuel decide to take a nap in an alley and Chauk passes by fleeing from some police officers. All the four teenagers are caught and the authorities deport them back to Guatemala. They then decide to leave Guatemala again, but this time Samuel decides to stay since he isafraidthat they had already been caught once. This is significant because Samuel isall for going to “El Norte” for a better life, but since he saw the risks and dangers of migrating, he decidesto stay in his home country and not risking getting caught again. It is hard to see this because all Samuel wants isa better life and, he is not able to obtain it.
Once Juan, Sara, and Chauk continue their journey for the second time, one can see that the train they are on stops because of “La Migra”. During this scene, many migrants including the three teens flee to avoid getting caught. Many other migrants try to flee, but instead they are caught. While the teenagers flee, a villager tells them to hide in his home while everything calms down. This villager then offers them a job as well as food, being able to bathe, and other necessities. This is a significant part in the film because migrants are always at risk of getting caught and are usually caught off guard. It is also important because there are generous people who are willing to help migrants. This also makes a migrant’s journey much harder and more likely to get deported.
After they leave the village they were at, the three teenagers board a train once again. Again, the train stops but this time not by “La Migra”, but by Narcos. They make everyone get off the train and to line up and none of the migrants seem to flee. The Narcos then tell the migrants to empty out their pockets and to give them their valuables. The Narcos also separate the men from the women and make the women board a trailer. One of the Narcos notices something odd about Sara, she had made herself look like a boy before going on the trip. The guy takes off her hat and lifts her shirt and realizes that she is a woman, and they take her with them. Sara tries to resist and fight back but it is no use, Chauk and Juan try to fight back as well but end up getting hurt. Eventually Chauk wakes up and everyone else has already left. He notices that Juan is on the ground and even does not like Chauk, Chauk does not care and carries him to a safe place to heal him. This is a substantial part in the film because again one sees the risks and dangers that migrants face while trying to get to the United States. One sees that women are taken to be sold in sex trafficking and that everyone else is rid of their money and valuables leaving them with nothing. It was also noteworthy because at that point Juan and Chauk are the only ones that continue the trip that first began with four teenagers.
"One sees that women are taken to be sold in sex trafficking and that everyone else is rid of their money and valuables leaving them with nothing."
Towards the end of the film, one sees that once Juan and Chauk are on the other side they must walk the dessert on their own since they are left stranded. While they are walking, one hears a loud bang and Chauk falls to the floor, then the screen showsa man with a sniper trying to shoot Juan. Juan then tries to help Chauk but he is being shot by the sniper, so he decides to flee and Chauk dies. Juan then makes it to the United Statesand gets a job at a meat factory picking up the residue that the other workers leave. He is doing the same thing he did back in Guatemala since he is cleaning and picking up the trash. This film is a powerful film and really makes one realize how hard migrants have it tryingto come to the United States. They go through many struggles just toget a job that is tough and “under the table” since they are immigrants. I think it isimportant to realize that people are living a better life here in the U.S. than what most people in developing countries are living in. I would definitely recommend this film to raise awareness and to show people that others have it worse.
Quemada-Diez, Diego, director. The Golden Dream. 2015.