Sundance Film Review: Who Is Dayani Cristal?

Posted January 20, 2013 in

Who Is Dayani Cristal?

Sundance Film Festival

Director: Marc Silver

A man recites “A Migrant’s Prayer” in Spanish, backpack in hand, as he prepares for a treacherous journey north across the Mexican border, into the USA. We soon learn that this man (Gael García Bernal) is retracing the steps of Dilcy Yohan Sanchez, who earlier left his home in the small village of El Escanito, Honduras, in search of a better life for his family, and never returned. The Tuscon, AZ Sherriff’s Department finds a partially decomposed body in the desert between Tuscon and the Mexican border fence with no identification apart from a tattoo reading “Dayani Cristal,” and a tattered prayer book containing “A Migrant’s Prayer.” We meet a brotherhood of travelers, forced by economic necessity to hop trains and brave the desert on foot in search of a promised land. From the insights of forensic workers in Arizona, dedicated to identifying the thousands of nameless bodies found around the Mexican border, to the families of missing immigrants, Who Is Dayani Cristal? presents a beautiful and tragic first-person perspective on an immigration system that favors law over human life. “We’re all on the same team,” the narrator says. “The other team.”



Time: 01.20, 3:30 PM Venue: Perry's Egyptian Theater, Ogden

Time: 01.23, 4:00 PM Venue: Redstone Cinema 2, Park City

Time: 01.25, 3:00 PM Venue: Tempe Theatre, Park City