Writer/ director Ricardo Perez-Selsky brings the action to the U.S./ Mexico border in the short Sin Fronteras. Juliana (Amber Lee Ettinger) is on the run with her son, Gustavo (Luis Cubas), after hearing the news that her husband, a cartel leader, was released from prison. On the other side of town, Elizabeth (Alexis Johnson), the wife of a congressman, is alone in a motel room staring at a pregnancy test.
The two women’s lives intersect when Juliana demands, at gunpoint, that Elizabeth drive them to a safe location. Sympathetic to their plight and determined, she takes Juliana and Gustavo across the border, pledging to keep them safe. But nothing is ever easy in the movies, and they are confronted by a rather large and menacing pick-up truck towing an American flag.
Sin Fronteras is a twelve-minute high-energy, albeit low budget action film. It opens with a very Jerry Bruckheimer-esque news montage about violence at the border and a campaign rally for a conservative congressman pledging more border security. After setting the tense stage, Perez-Selsky finds his action beats with a carjacking at gunpoint, a tense moment at the border, and a car chase. The filmmaker keeps it tight, moving the story along.
“…is on the run…after hearing the news that her husband, a cartel leader, was released from prison.”
Because it leans heavily toward the action genre, much of the drama regarding running from the cartel, illegal immigration, and empowered women are overwhelmed. In other words, the drama and messaging take a backseat to the action.
One nitpick comment—the movie is oversaturated, giving off the look of a hot, dry desert as the story’s location, but the problem is balance. You want to push the saturation just far enough that it gives off the effect desired, but not so much that it’s noticeable, and someone has to write about it in a review.
On a much more positive note, Ettinger and Johnson are fantastic as the two leads. They not only star in but are producers of Sin Fronteras. They had a clear vision of producing a kick-a*s action film, and I’m hoping this short serves as the seed for something much more significant for the duo.
"…the drama and messaging take a backseat to the action."