In this impressive companion piece to Sud, her portrait of Deep South race relations, Akerman sets up her camera on the Mexican side of the border to observe the flow of one-way traffic, legal and illegal, into the often less than welcoming land of opportunity. Extended shots of the massive wall erected by the Americans underline the daily reality of living in a virtual prison, while interviews with families, guards and legal representatives expose the mounting human cost of those who didn't make it on the passage north. Akerman adopts a patient approach to the accumulation of detail, which pays dividends during a seemingly endless single take tracking along the seemingly endless queue of cars waiting to enter America. The point is well taken, particularly when you notice that there's nothing coming the other way. Surprises, too, when Akerman herself makes it over the border, since we meet not only gun-toting zealots determined to protect their patch, but a diner owner displaying touching sympathy for the penniless migrants risking everything in their journey of hope.
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