Review: Sin Nombre

Amidst a very real migration crisis on the Mexican/US border, this Mexican/US collaboration has produced an insightful, deeply human tale of the true cost of crossing borders and hoping for a better life. With glorious cinematography and a versatile, exciting director at the helm, Sin Nombre is a revelation.  Language: Spanish Running Time: 96 mins Director: Cary Fukunaga Starring: Paulina Gaitan, Edgar Flores Genre: Adventure/Crime Drama Rating: 4 stars The Film Risking violence, robbery and death on a monumental journey atop a freight train, Honduran teenager Sayra is travelling through the entirety of Mexico with her father and uncle, hoping to build a better life in the USA. Her world collides with that of Casper, a young, troubled soul who has got on the wrong side of his violent gang, the notorious MS-13. How much is Sayra prepared to risk for Casper, and for how long can he outrun the gangsters who want him dead? The Review Though this film pulls no punches in terms of bloody violence, it in no way over-dramatises the situation. In fact, it’s a restrained portrayal which never spills into the gratuitous, and Fukunaga is a director with a feather-light touch. He pulls you into the story with long silences atmospheric shots, contrasting the lush beauty of Mexico’s changing landscapes with the gritty ganglands and the piles of people sheltering under thin sheets of plastic on top of the train. The viewer is left to draw their own conclusions about the characters’ motives and thoughts. It’s hard not to be swept up in the story, journeying each step with Sayra and Casper. Find out a...

A Blogger Relay with Olympic Spirit

Olympic spirit: internationalism, sportsmanship and a competitive streak. Well, you’ll find all of that here, in a new blogging relay organised by Low Cost Holidays. There are five teams: Yellow, Blue, Green, Purple and RED. I’m captaining Team Red, if you couldn’t tell! The blogging relay requires each team captain to write a post of their three top travel memories, before passing the baton to someone else, trying to build the longest chain and a winning team. One blogger will even be eligible for a prize including an iPad 2 and a Nikkon D3100 Digital SLR Camera. Now, the other teams are already out of the starting blocks, but I have no doubt that, in true Olympic champion style, Team Red can power past them and perform several double twists and backflips along the way. (You need a bit of self-belief!) My head is spinning with travel memories, both distant and recent, so it is hard to pick just three; harder yet to put them into any kind of an order. But, like throwing a dart on a map and going wherever it lands (something that is still on my list of things to do) I will ruthlessly pluck three memories as they pop into my mind’s eye. 1st – A Bus in Bolivia Regular readers may expect this to be something to do with Machu Picchu, but actually, the best travel memory I have comes from a night spent on a bus in Bolivia. There was nothing particularly special about it; I was just travelling from Potosi to La Paz along some very scary roads. But I can...

Photo Friday: The Bean, Chicago

It’s the last Friday of March, so it’s our last City & Culture themed photo – for now at least!   There’s surely nowhere better on a sunny Spring day than super-cool Chicago, USA, and the Bean provides a dazzling centrepoint to the city. I had so much fun taking futuristic, surreal photos here.     Which is your favourite city to photograph? If you have any great images you’d like to see on Starry-Eyed Travels, then send them in – they could feature here next week!...

Photo Friday: The Empire State Building

In March, it’s all about cities & culture here on Starry-Eyed Travels, so what better to pick for the Friday Photo than the most iconic building in the most exciting city on the planet? Looking up at the Empire State Building from the pavement is one of those travel moments that I will never, ever forget. It was absolutely thrilling – the building is an awesome sight to...
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