Opening at Village East Cinema in New York on September 4th, “La Jaula de Oro” (The Golden Dream) is the latest in a series of films I have seen about immigration going back to 1983 when I was deeply moved by “El Norte”. Like that film, “La Jaula de Oro” is about Guatemalans going to the USA but under circumstances far more dire. With the three main characters in their teens, they are far less able to navigate the treacherous path toward an illusory freedom and prosperity. All that sustains them is solidarity borne out of a need to move collectively toward an elusive goal as an older man from Mexico on the trail with them articulates in the very beginning of this gut-wrenching film:
You learn a lot along the path. Here, we are all brothers. We all have the same need. What’s important is that we learn to share. Only in this way can we move ahead, only in this way can we reach our destination, only a united people can survive. As human beings, there is no place in the world where we are illegal.