Film Response – “Who is Dayani Cristal” (2013)

What are your thoughts on these stories of the undocumented individuals presented in the film? Additionally, what are your thoughts on illegal immigration? Do you think we should relax our policies or be stricter?
Please provide a brief summary of the film

  • Explain what your knowledge on illegal immigration from Latin America to the United States is. What do you know of it? Where did you learn this?
  • What is your position on illegal immigration to the United States? Did this documentary support or change your position on it? Explain

The Journey

  • What were your thoughts on the journey that many individuals looking to cross the US/Mexico border make? Make sure to reference specific examples from the film
  • On one hand, these individuals are illegally crossing the border, so it makes some sense that a country would not prioritize a safe passage for them. However on the other hand, these are human beings and the film showcases some of the risks, vulnerability, and potential harm associated with this dangerous journey. What are your thoughts on how we should address this as a country? Explain your answer and reference specific examples from the film


  • The film presents the economics involved in these situations. Summarize how the economics of the United States and various Latin American countries are presented in the film and how they are seen as interconnected.
  • The film reflects the male majority seen making these border crossings. What are your thoughts on how these may lead to other social and economic hardships on the family that stays in the home country? For example, “Dayani” left his partner and their young children in Honduras. Meaning, he left his partner as a single mother raising several children and in presumably worse economic hardship.


  • The narrator (Gael Garcia Bernal) makes a comment – “perhaps all borders should be like this – no guards, no passports needed (paraphrasing).” What are your thoughts on this? Should our borders be like that? Should all borders be like that? Why or why not?
  • What is your opinion of this film? As entertainment and as an educational tool?
  • What is your opinion of it as an assignment in an online class as opposed to it as an assignment of a film we watch together in class?

Sample Solution