The quality of life in Latin America is at a low level, and not wanting to endure it, residents are taking various measures to survive, and documentaries reveal some consequences. For example, part of the population overcomes the dangerous and illegal path to the United States, and part is engaged in crime, where drug trafficking is widespread. The central theme of the selection studied is the fate of migrants from Latin America.
The film Which Way Home stands out among other documentaries about migrants. Director Rebecca Cammisa (2009) dedicated it to children who, unaccompanied by adults, are trying to cross the border into the United States on the train’s roof. Some moments and people are especially striking, as they reveal the topic from various sides. For example, another aspect that demonstrates the severity of children’s lives is their bad habits – smoking, drugs, or glue at an early age (Cammisa, 2009). The interview scene with a border patrol agent is also striking – he says that many migrant children die in the desert (Cammisa, 2009). Finally, the most crucial thing in history is that parents let their children go on such a dangerous path since their quality of life is terrible (Cammisa, 2009). Such details convey the complexity of the problem in the most memorable way.
Several topics best describe the material – the sacrifices made by children and parents to improve their lives and that many attempts are unsuccessful and can lead to fatal consequences. The documentary’s strengths are attention to a serious and complex problem and the film crew’s work, which overcame this path with the children. Potentially a weakness for the audience may be ignorance of the children’s future fate, but the director’s task was not so. Of course, the situation itself in which it is necessary to make such a dangerous path to the chance of happiness is also a weakness, but not the film’s one. Since the documentary is devoted to a significant problem and reveals it on various sides, I would recommend it to all interested in Latin America.
Cammisa, R. (2009). Which Way Home [Film]. HBO Films.