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| 7/24/2009 12:00:00 AM

Beneath the Veil of the Immigrant Dream

Jul 24--The tangled issue of illegal immigration gives “Paraíso Travel” its motivation, but thoughtful storytelling and committed performances give the movie its heart.

A melancholy, God’s-eye pan over the occupants of a seedy hostel in Queens introduces us to Marlon (Aldemar Correa) and Reina (Angélica Blandón), a young Colombian couple newly arrived from Medellín. When they are accidentally separated, the film attaches itself to the enterprising Marlon, whose good looks and guileless disposition grease his search for work and lodging.

But Marlon’s initiation into the ranks of squatters and toilet cleaners is substantially less harrowing than his flight from Colombia, revealed in increasingly violent flashbacks framed by his obsession with the manipulative Reina. This unhealthy bond is Marlon’s curse and the movie’s backbone, and it’s a testament to the skill of the writers, Jorge Franco and Juan Rendón (adapting Mr. Franco’s novel), that their attachment remains compelling despite Reina’s long absences from the screen.
 
Read more here.
 
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