Immigration is now on everyone’s mind, from the halls of Congress to the deserts of Texas and Arizona. Director Marc Silver and producer Gael Garcia Bernal have devised a startling hybrid documentary that looks at the issue from the most basic human vantage point. Silver follows a team of forensic anthropologists from the Arizona Medical Examiner’s office as they analyze the remains of a migrant found in the desert. The only identification mark is a tattoo that reads “Dayani Cristal.” Silver cuts between the anthropologists as they slowly and painstakingly piece together the man’s identity; and Bernal as a migrant on the arduous journey by train and on foot through Latin America and all the way to the southern US border and the possibility of a new life. Measured, meditative and scrupulously constructed, alternately sobering and enlightening, Who Is Dayani Cristal? describes a possible, terrible fate experienced by scores of people every year.

  • Directed By Marc Silver
  • 2013
  • USA/Mexico
  • 80 minutes