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Sin Nombre (nameless) is 2009 indipendent film by Cary Joji Fukunaga.
It follows the story of Mara Salvatrucha gangster Willy, (AKA El Casper) and Honduran immigrant Sayra as they try make it north through Mexico and into the United States. Sayra begins her journey in Honduras and is reluctant to go with her father and uncle to New Jersey. Meanwhile Willy is introducing a young boy into the life of MS 13. After the initiation the boy is called Smiley for smiling after taking a beating getting into the gang. Smiley is recognized as a member when he executes a prisoner from a rival gang. Willy is having trouble with his clique leader Lil Mago for lying about keeping a girlfriend a secret to the gang. One thing leads to another and Lil Mago accidentally kills Willy's girlfriend while he was trying to rape her. He tells an upset Willy he will find another and threatens to kill him personally if he lies again.
Sayra and her family arrive at a train yard in territory Willy's clique control. Here join immigrants hopping the train going north. Lil Mago takes Willy and Smiley with him and hop the train where they begin to rob the immigrants of all their belongings. When Lil Mago notices Sayra he tries to rape her with a gun on her head while her helpless uncle and father are held at gunpoint by Smiley. Thankfully Willy sees this opportunity to get revenge and slices Mago's throat with machete and finishes him off by kicking him off the train. He orders a visibly shaken Smiley to run away. Unfortunately for Willy killing a clique leader marks him and soon all members of Mara Salvatrucha will be looking for him. He has no choice but to follow the immigrants north and hope to escape their large territory.
A grateful Sayra befriends and takes care of Willy when non of the immigrants trust him because of his association with MS 13. However eventually Saya's uncle and father warm up to him and everyone helps each other survive the journey north. When Willy realizes he has grown attached to Sayra and will only bring his conflict with MS with her he tries to leave her while she is sleeping on the moving train. To his surprise Sayra follows him off the train and telling him that she accepts any trouble that comes with him. Unfortunately for Sayra her father gets killed and her uncle is deported but is comforted by Willy in a chapel. They both resolve to make it to the US no matter what. When they finally reach the border Willy pays a local Coyote for transporting across the river with a camera containing his dead girlfriend. They can only cross one at a time and Willy urges Sayra to go first and to hurry up. While she is in the middle of the river MS gang members show up and chase Willy. He ends up running into Smiley alone and getting shot by him. The rest of the gangsters spray Willy with bullets while Sayra screams to him across the river.
A lonely and sad Sayra walks in the streets of Texas where she spots a telephone and calls the number her father made her memorize.
Sin Nombre provides examples of:
- Arch Enemy: 18th Street Gang and Mara Salavatrucha
- Attempted Rape: Both times by Lil Mago
- Bittersweet Ending:Sayra makes it to the US but looses Willy and her father along the way. Her uncle is deported back to Honduras.
- Chekhov's Gun: Yessinia's phone number
- Children Forced to Kill: Smiley is only accepted after he kills a former 18th street gang member who was held prisoner.
- Complete Monster: Lil Mago
- Cycle of Revenge: Between 18th street and Mara Salvatrucha
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: 18th street
- Secret Handshake: How MS gang members identify each other.
- Truth in Television: Its not uncommon for kids Smiley's age to join MS and kill at that age. A lot of recruitment is done at Elementary and Middle School level.
- We Are Everywhere: After El Sol takes over Lil Mago's clique he sends Willy a message that every MS member looking for him. Smiley mission to kill Willy is helped by various members along the way.