The Golden Dream

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The Golden Dream
La jaula de oro 2013 film.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Diego Quemada-Díez
Written by Diego Quemada-Diez
Starring Brandon López
Cinematography María Secco
Release dates
  • 22 May 2013 (2013-05-22) (Cannes)
Running time
102 minutes
Country Mexico
Language Spanish

The Golden Dream (Spanish: La jaula de oro) is a 2013 Mexican drama film directed by Spanish born Mexican director Diego Quemada-Díez.[1] It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival[2][3][4][5] where Quemada-Diez won the A Certain Talent award for his directing work and the ensemble cast.[6]

The film has received a total of 67 awards, including 9 Ariel awards by the Mexican Film Academy: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best First Feature, Best Actor, Best Upcoming Actor, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Music. It also won Best Picture, Best Editing and Best Sound at the first Latinamerican Oscars, the Fenix Awards.


Like the 1987 film, and the song, the plot concerns the immigration to the United States. However, unlike the plot concerning a successful and now middle aged Mexican immigrant of the earlier film, the plot of this film concerns younger undocumented immigrants.

Samuel, Sara and Juan, three teenagers from Guatemala decide to leave poverty by going to the United States. After crossing the Mexican border by boat, they find another immigrant, a tzotzil native called Chauk who does not know Spanish but is able to befriend Sara. When they arrive to a town in Chiapas, they are caught by Mexican Immigration Police agents, who steal Juan's and Chauk's shoes and deport them back to Guatemala.

Juan is able to find a way to come back to Mexico, but at this point Samuel decides to stay back home. Juan dislikes the idea of going with Chauk, but Sara forces him to go on with him and the three continue the road to the north. While riding on a train to the United States, the train is stopped by the Mexican Army who began to trap the immigrants; however, the trio manages to hide themselves amongst a group of sugar-cane collectors who give them refuge and work. During a party in the plantation, Juan and Sara get drunk and began to kiss in front of Chauk, leaving him alone.

Chauk is angry at Sara, but decides to remain with them and continue the ride to the north. During the trip, they are detained by drug traffickers, who steal all the money from the passengers and kidnap the female travelers. Sara is soon recognized as a girl and taken by the traffickers; when Juan and Chauk resist, Juan is seriously injured and Chauk is knocked unconscious.

Chauk wakes up and tends to Juan's injuries. When Juan recovers, both recognize that they can do nothing for Sara and decide to continue their ride to the north. During the train ride, they meet a boy from Guatemala that offers them jobs, but in reality it is just a trick and the boy delivers them into the hands of a group of kidnappers. When the leader learns that Juan is from his country, Juan is released. Juan later returns and offers the leader the money he earned at the sugar cane plantation to free Chauk.

Juan and Chauk arrive in Mexicali, where they get help from a group of immigrant traffickers to cross the border between Mexico and United States. The traffickers take the boys across the border, but leave the two on their own in the desert, where Chauk is killed by an immigrant hunter. Juan soon arrives to a city where he gets a job in a meat factory. The movie ends with Juan looking into a snowstorm, recognizing that Chauk wanted to cross the border because he wanted to see the snow.



  1. ^ El burgalés Diego Quemada-Díez competirá en el Festival de Cannes "El cineasta Diego Quemada-Díez (Burgos, 1969) presentará «La jaula de oro» -su primer largometraje- en la sección «Un Certain Regard» del certamen de la 66 edicion del Festival de Cannes."
  2. ^ "2013 Official Selection". Cannes. 21 April 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Cannes 2013 Review: ‘The Golden Cage’ Is Too Miserable For Its Own Good". Film School Rejects. 25 May 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Golden Cage (La Jaula de oro): Cannes Review". Hollywood Reporter. 25 May 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Cannes 2013: The Golden Cage (La Jaula de Oro) – review". The Guardian. 25 May 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Cannes: 'The Missing Picture' Wins Un Certain Regard Prize". Hollywood Reporter. 26 May 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 

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