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Sin Nombre [DVD] [2008]

4.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Edgar Flores, Paulina Gaitan, Jesus Lira, Emir Meza, Kristyan Ferrer
  • Directors: Cary Fukunaga
  • Format: PAL, Anamorphic, Widescreen, HiFi Sound, Colour
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Revolver Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Feb. 2010
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002P3PAQE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,244 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

From executive producers Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna comes Sin Nombre, the breathtaking debut thriller from writer/director Cary Fukunaga. An unflinching tale of loyalty and redemption set against the harsh backdrop of modern Mexico, Sin Nombre interweaves two parallel stories; the first dealing the struggles of Sayra (Paulina Gaitan), a beautiful Honduran woman desperately trying to escape to America with her family, the second following Casper (Edgar Flores), a tough gang member placed in an impossible situation when a violent retaliation turns his gang against him. As Sayra and Casper s paths cross on a train leading out of the country, with the gang in hot pursuit, they must rely on each other if any of them are to make it through alive. Recipient of the Best Director and Best Cinematography Awards at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and the Skillset New Director's Award at the 2009 Edinburgh Film Festival, Sin Nombre marks the emergence of a startling new voice in Latin American cinema.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Excellent film, highly recommend
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I saw this film in the cinema late in August and it was absolutely brilliant. It has all the hallmarks of a good film and is a thriller, gangster film and travel movie all at the same time. Especially interesting if you are interested in the contemporary issue of the mass, illegal immigration into the United states from Central America - it opens a revealing window onto the plight of the migrants trying to make the journey towards the States; a journey riddled with danger which only a few will complete. This film is in competition with 'the motorcycle diaries` to be my favourite Latin American film, and if I had to pick one of the two, it would be this. Buy it, you will not be disappointed. (Please read on)

Ok this a whole year later, after I have bought the DVD and re-watched the film. It is still bloody good - especially considering the low budget it was filmed on - and I would not alter my above comments. However, the film will not have the same effect on you second time around - it is not one of those that gets better every time you re-watch it. The reason for this is that it is a visceral one-hit impact film - it grabs you because you do not know what is going to happen, rather than because of a well crafted storyline. Watching it again, once you know what is going to happen, the film loses its thrilling feel and leaves you with not a lot else in the way of variation (most of the film takes place on a train).

However, this is obviously a comment made after a second viewing (I loved it first time around) and you definitely have to see this film. There ARE some expert scenes, such as the tour of the hideout of the 'Mara Salvatrucha' gang amonst others. Watch it and you will love it. Watch it second time and you will see my retrospective criticism.
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Format: DVD
I'm going to resist giving this film 5 stars, although I couldn't argue if you think it deserves it. I was very good. Inevitably it will draw comparisons with 'City of God' and 'Elite Squad', but in my eyes it wasn't as good - hence 4 stars.

That's not to say it wasn't still very good though - it was. We basically follow two threads of a story that intertwine halfway through and lead up to the films final events.

MS13, the notorious Latin American street gang, feature heavily in this film, but ultimately, that is not really what this film is about. There is much more to it than that and to group in it with such films would do it an injustice.

The film itself is both beautiful (the South American scenery) and brutal (the depiction of gang life is unflinching) in equal measures and fans of films about both gang culture and South American culture will lap it up.

I myself thoroughly enjoyed the journey (quite literally) from start to finish and Sin Nombre cleverly addressed two issues synonimous with Latin America (immigration & gang culture) in a way that was incidental rather than the focus of the film - the result was quite spectacular and something you're sure to love.
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This 2009 social thriller tells the tale of two individuals; El Casper, a gang member whose is romantically involved with a girl from another ‘hood’ which spreads suspicion in his gang, and teenage girl Sayra, her father, and her uncle, who are illegal migrants on their way to relatives in New Jersey. Both paths cross when Caspers gang go to rob the train Sayra and her family are travelling on, but what will the ramifications of their meeting be?
This is a bleak story with a strong atmospheric start with realistic looking sets, revolving around gang culture but it didn’t ring true for me, the migrants weren't desperate enough and too trusting, the gangs far too lenient and lax, and there was a lack of fear in everyone except Smiley and the love story element too contrived [lose a *]. It was only in northern Mexico that the drama really took hold. Overall the film is a sad tale mainly highlighting regrets, unfulfilled hopes and shattered dreams, but there are far better ones out there.
The single disc opens main screen offering play, scene selection, bonus features [deleted scenes, commentary on/off]and set up [5.1, 2.0, subtitles on/off].
With plenty of swearing, graphic violence from the outset, people smuggling, murder, it’s an obvious 18. Watch the deleted scenes, many were a few seconds in length and would have strengthened the film, other overlong scenes should have been shortened.
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Format: DVD
This film is a mixed bag. It's about illegal border-crossing, about teenage love and betrayal, and also about gang culture and crime networks. To the director's credit it steps lightly through all these without becoming lightweight. This is not a preachy film, just informative as well as entertaining.

The varying Mexican landscapes and traditional music help to remind one that the travellers are moving through a country, not just a huge slum next door to the USA.

Quite a predictable film, but still well worth a look. For a more intense look at South American life caught between crime gangs and corrupt cops, you'll want to see City Of God.
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Format: DVD
It may be set in one of the most poverty stricken places of the world but there is so much colour and vibrancy that create some stunning visuals. The narrative that focuses on kids escaping this life of violence, poverty and desperation could be similar to a Shane Meadows film but council houses and industrial wasteland is replaced by brightly coloured but crudely constructed shanty towns. The subject is a dark and brutal reality but the imagery is so strong and the directing so beautiful, even Terrence Malick like, you can't help but be hypnotized and marvel at its pure and natural beauty.
It is this slow, minimal, ponderous beauty that makes it more than just a gang culture film, though gang culture is still an important aspect of it that it doesn't ignore and shows it all in its harsh brutality. The Malick like quality is what makes this unique and stand out from `Elite Squad' or the excellent `City Of God'.
The plot is basic and we learn very little about the characters, their backstories, home life, parents, relatives ect. This could be a flaw in some films but within this it is clearly a deliberate choice to show these characters are just some of the thousands of people in South America who have to live the same lives, deal with the same problems and share the same dream. The actors are excellent and give really touching and raw performances whilst avoiding melodrama.
It is so strong and hard to put into words. An amazing experience everyone should watch it.
Once you've seen it, you can't forget it.
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