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Which Way Home
Which Way Home

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Manufacturer: Docurama
Publisher: Docurama
Directed By: Rebecca Cammisa

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Product Description:
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Binding: DVD
Brand: New Video Group, Inc.
EAN: 0767685237007
Feature: Factory sealed DVD
Format: Multiple Formats
Item Dimensions: Array
Label: Docurama
Languages: Array
Manufacturer: Docurama
Model: 15463126
MPN: 15463126
Number Of Discs: 1
Number Of Items: 1
Publication Date: 2011-01-25
Publisher: Docurama
Region Code: 1
Release Date: 2011-01-25
Running Time: 90
Studio: Docurama
Product Features:
Factory sealed DVD
Editorial Review:
This award-winning film and Academy Award nominee takes viewers along on freight trains with children from Mexico and Central America who are trying to get across the U.S. border and to a better life. Cammisa captures children begging for food, hopping the trains, and clinging to the tops of their dangerous rides. The film crew is so close to the action, viewers can almost feel the train lurch. While the journey itself is wrenching and suspenseful, Cammisa's best decision was to allow the travelers--adolescents without money, adult supervision, or basic human comforts--to do most of the talking. Their guileless recounting of how they came to be riding "The Beast" and what they hope for makes this an exceptional program. The risks of this activity are highlighted through the introduction of a young woman who lost her legs and a family that receives a coffin bearing the decomposed remains of a son who died on the trip. The film offers no solution but illustrates with each frame that finding one is crucial. Viewers who are moved to get involved can do so through the website Bonus features include deleted scenes and English and Spanish versions of the film. Strongly recommended for children's and immigration advocacy groups and general viewers.--Joan Pedzich, Harris Beach PLLC, Rochester, NY Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.
Nominated for a 2010 Academy Award, Which Way Home, through its shocking depictions of neglected immigrant children struggling to sneak into America by train, manages to charm viewers into concern for its audacious young stars. Director Rebecca Cammisa's choice to focus almost exclusively on interviews with the train-hopping children, who range in age from roughly 8 to 18, makes this documentary infinitely more touching and effective. One gets a more well-rounded impression of the socioeconomic problem here; for every feeling of liberation the children experience, there are dangers lurking around the corner, several of which come to fruition during the filming period covered. For example, Kevin, a 14-year-old Honduran boy, and his pal, Yurico, a.k.a. "The Dog," a 17-year-old from Chiapas, occupy the bulk of the film footage, as the two boys and their cohorts ride "The Beast" through various territories. But as they skirt some sketchy situations, they can't help but tell stories of less lucky children who die on the trains en route to the United States. Additionally, tracing the aftereffects of their journey offers a less than ideal outcome for both boys. Many of the children in Which Way Home, like José from El Salvador, have experienced abandonment by their parents, who left in search of income and provided little in the way of role models. A few key scenes, like that filmed in the Guatemalan Consul where national officials interview boys before deporting them back to their home countries, and the scene showing Grupos Beta, a grassroots group that travels by van alongside the trains to provide free supplies and medical care to these children, are inspiring. Still, one comes to realize that the problem is overwhelming, as viewers gain access to the filthy flophouses, like House of Migrants, that are packed wall to wall with minors running away from home to find work. However, Cammisa captures a certain hobo humor here, which permeates the film's sad subject matter, as the boys tell jokes, lounge around with each other in the most brotherly ways, and care for each other in the absence of their parents. While Which Way Home chronicles a problem that demands attention, it does so in a touching manner, leaving its star characters' dignities intact as they confess their motivations, namely devout family loyalty. --Trinie Dalton
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