I did not know what this movie was before we watched it in a class, however when I heard that it involved Gael García Bernal, I became a bit optimistic, as I like him in "Mozart in the Jungle". Unfortunately, this film ended up being a disappointing documentary that pushed a political agenda.
While this film is pretty good at showing both the U.S. and foreign sides of the immigration controversy, its political agenda is ridiculously obvious. While I don't mind a film with a political message, it bothers me when a film pushes that message down your throat. I repeatedly felt slapped in the face with a political message throughout the film.
The two plot lines of the film are both interesting, however it jumps between them, seemingly illogically. One is about a John Doe found in the Arizona desert that is an illegal immigrant, and one is about Gael García Bernal experiencing the illegal immigrant's journey. While watching the film, I didn't realize that Bernal's segment was a recreation of John Doe's journey, so it didn't make as much sense during the film as it does now. The film does, however, have some really beautiful cinematography. There are some amazing landscape shots in the film that showcase the conditions that immigrants must endure.
So overall, "Who Is Dayani Cristal?" is a nicely shot, interesting documentary, however it is weighed down by forced political messages. It is worth catching on TV, however it is not worth actively seeking out.
Who is Dayani Cristal?
Big Tuna's Rating: C
How Did I Watch It?: DVD/Blu-Ray in a class.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: I doubt it.
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I look at films as if through old red and blue 3D glasses— one lens is as art, one lens is as entertainment.
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