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According to Tribeca gossip, the documentary Which Way Home is "Sin Nombre, but a documentary." Sin Nombre, of course, being Cary Fukunaga's debut feature that came out in March, about a teenage girl and a Mexican gang member both trying to escape the country by hitching rides on freight trains. Rebecca Cammisa's film Which Way Home, which debuted at Tribeca over the weekend, follows nearly the exact same train routes as Sin Nombre, but is a documentary following young children making their way to the United States alone.
And while the fact that the movies are coming out so close together is a coincidence, there's a good reason that some of the shots and scenes in the two movies are so similar: Cammisa actually made a film about Fukunaga when he was at NYU film school. Cammisa was a director for the IFC series Film School, and after meeting Fukunaga during the shooting, she chatted with him about his next project-- which just happened to be about the same topic Cammisa had already started researching.
"He asked me if I knew about things, and I shared information with him. I asked him things that he had experienced." The two parted ways to make their films, but met up again in Mexico City during the shoots, and talked about the locations where they both had been shooting. Since Cammisa has been finishing her film at the same time Fukunaga's has debuted at Sundance and later in theaters, she hasn't been able to see it yet. "[But] I'm really happy for him. He really wanted to make this film for a long time."
The great thing about this connection is that both films are really stellar, and shine light on a part of the world that seems deliberately ignored here in the States. We'll have the rest of my interview with Rebecca Cammisa on the site later, as well as a full review of Which Way Home.