Diego Quemada-Diez's gripping debut feature opens as Sara (Karen Martínez), a Guatemalan teenager, cuts her hair and straps down her breasts. It's a good call: sexual predators are just one of the many dangers she and her travelling companions Juan (Brandon López) and Samuel (Carlos Chajon) will face along the long, precarious trek to the US border. Not too far into a journey that will take them across Mexico, the trio encounter Chauk (Rodolfo Domínguez), a young Guatemalan Indian who speaks no Spanish. The other kids are marginalised and despised by many of the people they meet: police rob them, farmers force them into hard labour; traffickers repeatedly target them. Chauk, meanwhile, is marginalised even within the group. Much of The Golden Dream is given over to rooftop train rides, endless horizons and dusty roads, all beautifully shot by María Secco. A clever screenplay never allows us forget that, even against these perilous circumstances, these are kids. They goof around. They pose at cutouts. They fancy one another. We hope against hope for a happy outcome, every step of the way.