Who Is Dayani Cristal Analysis

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Who is Dayani Cristal? (Silver, 2013) dives into the background of what happens when immigrants die on their journey to the United States, and further emphasizes how the “illegal” identities construct migration as a criminal act. This film looks far beyond the perspective of being an undocumented immigrant and illegally crossing the border, and more towards a dangerous journey focused around family and values. To further emphasize a more personal anecdote of an immigrant coming to the United States, the film uses an immigrant named Yohan Sandres-Martinez as its focal point. By using Yohan, a real person with struggles and showing the negative results of the immigration, such as Yohan’s death. Who is Dayani Cristal? humanizes immigrants in…show more content…
This characterization gives a bigger meaning to the dangerous journey taken by immigrants to cross these socially constructed borders and brings meaning to immigrants as people, and not just as objects. The film shows the landscape of Honduras, people working in the fields, how children learn in school, soccer playing as a pastime and other visual occurrences that expose the viewer to the daily life of a Honduran citizen. The personification of Yohan being from Honduras, being father of three kids, a husband, a son, and a worker in his community, shows that his identity does not just amount to one negative connotation that is perceived out of ignorance and xenophobic principles. With Yohan as a real-life example, it motivates individuals to see that migrants expose themselves to dangers because of their family and goals. Yohan is not just a number or a name, but a person with a dream and a background—which provides a further representation of immigrants as people. This depiction gives immigrants a contextual background, gives them an identity through their “homeland.”
As Yohan’s journey is shown through the film, there is also another perspective that shows more personal reflection of what it means to be a migrant leaving their country and why migrants leave their families. Yohan’s brother said that he was pressured to travel to the United States because of the economic situation and his
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