Which Way Home (2007)
Rebecca Cammisa's film, funded by a Fulbright grant, documents the harrowing misfortunes of the 100,000 children a year who hop trains ("The Beast") for the 1,500 mile journey from Central America and Mexico to the United States. The film opens with a bloated corpse floating down a river, but that's only one of the dangers that also include the vast desert, dismemberment or death from falling off the train, corrupt police, smugglers, tunnels, rape and hunger. The children travel alone, fleeing abusive families or hoping to connect with parents already in the US. Cammisa interviews most of the players in this heartbreaking story — hearse drivers who make daily deliveries of unrecognizable corpses back to families; humanitarian groups at train stations that offer free food, medical care, and wise advice; immigration officials; bereaved mothers waiting for the results of DNA tests to confirm their child's death; and many of the children on the trains. Cammisa avoids any political commentary, and instead lets Kevin, Fito, Juan, Olga and other kids speak for themselves. Which Way Home will draw comparisons with the similar film Sin Nombre (2009).