"Dreaming the American Dream is easy.
What's hard is crossing through Mexico"
The Precocious & Brief Life of Sabina Rivas is a movie the Federal government of Mexico does NOT want you to see.
The producer --Abraham Zabludovsky-- and director --Luis Mandoki-- had a really hard time finding the investment for this film. They received zero support from Mexico city's Dept. of Cultural Affairs, and many investors backed down when they were asked to finance the project.
And there's a good reason for that.
The reason is that this film, based on the novel La Mara written by Rafael Ramírez Heredia (1942-2006) portrays a rather embarrassment side of Mexico. An inconvenient truth, in light of how we are always complaining about the mistreatment our compatriots receive, when they try to reach that legendary promised land, known as the United States.
And yet what the Federal government often fails to mention when they raise the issue of new immigration policies with our powerful northern neighbor, is the things that happen in our other border: the nightmare experienced by the illegal immigrants from Central & South America, who try to reach the same promised land in search of a better life, while crossing through Mexico's territory.
A journey not unlike the fantasy scenarios written by the likes of Tolkien, for even though this is the real world, it's a trip filled with dangerous monsters.
Monsters like the gangsters of La Mara Salvatrucha, with whom the immigrants need to negotiate in order to reach the 1st stage of their travel: the southern border of Mexico.
Monsters like the beast, which is the name the immigrants give to the treacherous freight train they all need to ride, and claims the limbs and lives of many careless travelers.
Monsters like the Zetas, who are always on the hunt for the illegal immigrants, who are easy prey and can be used to demand ransom to their families in Nicaragua, Guatemala or Honduras. We also know that the Zetas sometimes force them to join their ranks, or suffer the consequences.
We know this because we've found the bodies of those who refused.
And finally, the worst monsters of them all: the very officers of Mexico's Immigration police force. Why the worst, you ask? Because once they arrest the illegal immigrants, instead of returning them safely to their countries of origin, they often sell them to the Zetas. They can do this because a) they have the law on their side; and b) nobody cares about these people --nobody outside their family, that is. And some kind souls like father Solalinde, who gives shelter and protection to some of these men, women and children. Truly, he is the kind of Catholic priest I still have respect for.
All this and more, it's what Sabina Rivas is all about. A movie which tells the story of a young Honduran girl, who tries to make her dreams of becoming a singer come true. She will try to reach for paradise, but will have to cross through hell to do so.
When it's released, go out and see it.
And when you do, always keep in mind that the images projected on the screen, are happening to someone in the real world, just while you're sitting comfortably on that dark movie theater.
Maybe that will help you have a different opinion of that Hispanic gardener or house maid you get to see from time to time, who seem always in a hurry to get on time while nervously looking behind their shoulders.