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Filmmaker tracks child migrants' dangerous journeys

August 24, 2009 | 10:13 am

Reed Johnson reviews "Which Way Home," a documentary by Rebecca Cammisa that screens on HBO today and screened at the Los Angeles Film Festival this year.

"It was the anguish of a 9-year-old child that made Rebecca Cammisa vow to press on.

"When the filmmaker first met the Honduran boy named José at a detention center in southern Mexico, he was alone, scared and crying. He was one of an estimated tens of thousands of Latin American children who annually try to cross illegally into the United States, many by riding the tops of railroad freight cars, most in search of work or missing parents.

"For many, the journey ends badly, if not tragically. Menaced by predatory smugglers and corrupt police, the children (the majority from Mexico and Central America) must contend with dodgy weather, hunger and the constant danger of falling off the trains and being killed or losing limbs.

"Some travel hundreds of miles only to be intercepted by law enforcement agents and deported home. When Cammisa filmed José, he was an underage refugee adrift in an international legal limbo."

Read the rest of the review here, and here are more posts on immigration and film.

-- Deborah Bonello, in Mexico City

Video: "Which Way Home" raises questions about cross-border immigration policies. Credit: HBO