Review: LONG GONE BY Is A Creative And Harrowing Portrait Of The Immigrant Crisis

FIRST IMPRESSION

Long Gone By uses its tale with deep, human characters to provide an interesting commentary on the immigration crisis that feels extremely important.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Long Gone By, co-written and directed by Andrew Morgan, is the latest of many films to come out this year tackling the immigration crisis that is so prevalent in America today. However, it offers one of the more unique approaches to the topic, and as such, ends up being thoroughly harrowing and heartbreaking.

The movie follows a Nicaraguan immigrant who is a single mother living in Indiana with her teenage daughter. When she learns that she is going to be deported, she is driven to desperate measures to raise the money her daughter will need to attend college. What starts out as a character-driven drama soon turns into an exhilarating and pulse-pounding thriller, yet the whole time, you will be on the edge of your seat waiting to see what will come next.

If it isn’t obvious, this film is highly political in nature, but it is extremely effective in conveying its message without feeling over-the-top. Yes, the message is direct and straightforward, but it is delivered in a way that doesn’t feel heavy-handed. The audience should (and likely will) come to their own conclusion about the immigration crisis as a result of seeing these events unfold in their own horrifying way.

Part of the reason that the movie works so well is that the characters are written phenomenally. The protagonist, Ana, is thoroughly compelling. Although it will be hard for most audiences to imagine, much less feel what Ana is going through, we will all realize the weight of her actions and as such, some of the things she does that may not normally be justifiable end up being very sympathetic.

Erica Muñoz gives a wonderful performance in her lead role, packing the character with as much emotion as she possibly can. Something like this very easily could have been over-the-top, but Muñoz’s performance helps the film stay grounded and realistic. If there is one weak link in the movie, it is Izzy Hau’ula, whose deliver as the protagonist’s daughter doesn’t always land, but even she has her share of great moments.

Never does the film feel like it is pulling unnecessary heartstrings or manipulating your emotions to promote its agenda. Every emotional reaction which this movie will get from the audience is earned, either from a precisely-crafted scenario or an effective bit of character development. Although those who are anti-immigration will likely remain unconvinced, those who are on the line may see the heft of this film and take a more firm stance.

On a technical level, the movie is mostly simple and straightforward given its independent nature, but everything is done in a way that looks and sounds entirely professional. From the cinematography to the sparing use of music, nothing sounds cheap. In fact, everything seems designed to create the maximum possible amount of suspense which, in turn, will have a greater emotional impact.

A surprising and refreshing thriller with an important message, Long Gone By is a film that you need to keep on your radar. Although its lack of big-name stars may keep it from breaking out into the mainstream, this seems destined to be an indie darling.

Long Gone By debuts at the HBO New York Latino Film Festival on August 17.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Your Attention Please: A Very Special Episode – Trailer (Official)

Get ready 🌎 A special new episode of #YourAttentionPlease hosted by Craig Robinson and featuring more musical sauce by Teddy Walton. ABOUT YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE Hosted by Craig Robinson, this series introduces us to Black innovators and creators who are working to leave the world better than they found it. SUBSCRIBE TO HULU’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL…

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: No Surrender (Clip) | HBO

Former NFL player Steve Gleason has ALS but refuses to surrender to the isolation of the pandemic, and has found a way to widen his own world and inspire others using technology. Don’t miss an all-new Real Sports on Tuesday, Oct 20 on HBO and HBO Max. #HBO #RealSports Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7…

Next on Episode 4 | The Comedy Store | SHOWTIME Documentary Series

Joe Rogan returns to the Store after a seven-year ban. The massive podcast stardom of Rogan and pals like Marc Maron, Bill Burr and Whitney Cummings make the Store once again the hottest club in the industry. Watch new episodes on Sundays at 10/9c on SHOWTIME. #SHODocs #TheComedyStore Subscribe to the SHOWTIME YouTube channel: http://goo.gl/esCMib…

Archer | Season 11 Ep. 7: The Power Structure Highlight | FXX

Archer. He's exhausting, but his heart is in the right place. Maybe. Watch this SELECTED SCENE from Season 11, Episode 7 of Archer. All new episodes Wed at 10p on FXX. Next day on FX on Hulu. Subscribe now for more Archer clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX In season 11 of FXX‘s comedy Archer, “Sterling Archer“ is ready…

Tweets About Growing Up Asian ft. Amalia Yoo from Grand Army | Netflix

Actress Amalia Yoo (Leila) from Grand Army reads and reacts to Tweets about #GrowingUpAsian in America. From being the only kid with seaweed snacks to getting weirded out by TV characters wearing shoes, Amalia covers it all! Watch Grand Army, Only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80211687 SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment…

The Fellas – Break U (Official Music Video) • From the Hulu Original Film Bad Hair

Bad Hair is NOW STREAMING only on Hulu! #BadHairHulu ABOUT BAD HAIR: In this horror satire set in 1989, Bad Hair follows an ambitious young woman (Elle Lorraine) who gets a weave in order to succeed in the image-obsessed world of music television. However, her flourishing career comes at a great cost when she realizes…

The Christmas Chronicles 2 starring Kurt Russell & Goldie Hawn | Official Trailer | Netflix

It’s been two years since siblings Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy Pierce (Judah Lewis) saved Christmas, and a lot has changed. Kate, now a cynical teenager, is reluctantly spending Christmas in Cancun with her mom’s new boyfriend and his son Jack (Jahzir Bruno). Unwilling to accept this new version of her family, Kate decides to…

Tell Me A Story | Season 2 | Welcome To Nashville | The CW

Stream new episodes of Tell Me A Story Wednesdays free only on The CW: https://go.cwtv.com/TELgenyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About TELL ME A STORY: TELL ME A STORY takes the world's most beloved fairy tales and reimagines them as a dark and twisted psychological thriller. Set in modern-day New York City, the first season of this serialized…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here