I learned of this film in the last Oscar night (2010) introducing the nominees for Best Feature Documentary. The winner was The Cove, which I have yet to see, that exposes a shocking instance of dolphin abuse in Japan. As a political science major, the subjects of child migrants (Which Way Home) and corporate lies (Food Inc.) were much more appealing. An access to Food Inc. was easier than Which Way Home, maybe because of its dealing with more intimate commodity in our lives, that is, food. As a public viewer, Which Way Home was more difficult to access because of its relatively limited range of audience who takes the tales of illegal immigrants closely concerned with their immediate interests.
I finally got a chance to watch Which Way Home in the new year when the film was finally released in DVD. The film tells the stories of two Honduran boys, Kevin and Fito, who journey across Central Americas in order to reach the United States for a chance to better life. They are not alone in their reckless but hopeful trip; along their way they met several others who travel to the same destination with same goal. Even so, they are not safe from dangers of poor traveling facilities and heartless smugglers. As they trace Kevin and Fito’s initial optimism descending into disappointment and despair, the filmmakers also take an incisive look on the heartbreaking scenes of family separation and broken promise in the realities of child migrants with dreams of better future.
I was disturbed by Kevin and Fito’s notion of ‘home’ in Honduras that offers no security or purpose in life. Kevin once lived with a stepfather who always brushes him aside. Fito has been left by his unfulfilling mother. As the two boys speak unenthusiastically about where they came from, we are strongly drawn into the meaning of their journey that once seemed totally unprepared and groundless.
I was happy to see this film that invokes an understanding of the formerly invisibles in the shadows of poverty and frustration prevalent in other side of the world. I could not hear of their recent whereabouts, but I believe they are belonging to somewhere safe. I recommend this documentary to those who are questioning about the meaning of his/her life. Kevin and Fito will give you some answers.