Artifact Analysis

Topics: Gang, Mara Salvatrucha, Illegal immigration Pages: 5 (2044 words) Published: May 2, 2013
Eddie Cavelli
Professor Cooper
English 304
30 April 2013
The artifact I chose is the 2009 film, “Sin Nombre,” directed by Cary Fukunaga. In Spanish, the title translates to nameless, or without a name. The film revolves around the struggle of Honduran immigrants attempting to escape the hardships of everyday life to start fresh in ‘El Norte,’ the United States. The film revolves around two main characters, MS 13 gang member, Willy (aka El Casper), and Sayra, a Honduran girl who is traveling to New Jersey with her brother and uncle. The story of Willy is his struggle to deal with gang-life while he tries to maintain a relationship outside the gang, while in the process of initiating a young boy, El Smiley, into the gang. Willy’s girlfriend attends a gang meeting unbeknown to him, and ends up being killed by the gang’s leader Lil’ Mago. After the death of his girlfriend, Willy and El Smiley are taken on a trip with Lil’ Mago to a train area known as La Bombilla. La Bombilla is a location which illegal immigrants hide on trains to travel to the United States. Upon entering the train area with all the immigrants, Willy, El Smiley, and Lil’ Mago hold the immigrants by gun-point to steal their money and belongings. This is when the stories intertwine. Sayra, along with her father and uncle are amongst the passengers who are being held up. Willy, who is still upset over the loss of his girlfriend, notices Lil’ Mago’s attempt to rape Sayra. In disgust, he kills Lil’ Mago, and makes El Smiley get off the train. From this point on, Sayra becomes very intrigued and respectful towards Willy. One night, with the pressure of the gang coming to kill him; Willy gets off the train realizing that he is followed by Sayra. The two continue their journey towards the United States, until eventually only Sayra is successful. Willy is caught and killed by El Smiley before he too can escape. The subject I will focus on is Willy’s girlfriend, Martha Marlene. The object that she is seeking knowledge about is Willy, and where he disappears to when he cannot be with her. She assumes that he is out hooking up with other girls and partying, but in actuality he is trying to hide his association with the gang in order to keep Martha safe.

The scene where Martha unexpectedly shows up to the gang’s meeting in the cemetery portrays Martha’s eagerness to find out what Willy is up to. The scene takes place in a cemetery where the gang is having a meeting regarding the job El Smiley and Willy were supposed to do in La Bombilla. The gang begins to question both Willy and El Smiley in regards to where they went. Prior to this scene, Willy and Martha are about to leave the train yard and run into the gang’s second leader, El Sol, who tells Willy to watch his back. Willy explains that Martha and he are just friends, and Martha becomes angry that he did not say she was his girlfriend. They did not follow through with the gang’s goal, and Willy makes El Smiley wait in the train yard while he walks Martha home. Although they did travel to La Bombilla, they were supposed to kill a rival gang member, a Chivala. After running into El Sol, Willy is informed of a gang meeting which would take place the next day in the cemetery. It is at this point when Martha gains the knowledge of the meeting and uses her mental processes in order to try and relate to Willy, and understand his life outside of their relationship. The next day, just as Willy and El Smiley are being questioned about their time in La Bombilla, the gang knows Willy is lying and that he was preoccupied with Martha. Willy glances through the cemetery to notice that Martha showed up, and he begins to panic to try and get her to leave. Lil’ Mago catches Willy talking to Martha and decides he will walk her out. Upon walking her out, Lil’ Mago picks Martha’s brain about Willy and ask if he has disclosed any information about what the gang does or who they are. Martha uses her mental processes to recognize the...
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