“This is the wager,” says actor Gael Garcia Bernal in Who Is Dayani Cristal? “Can you make it past Mexico with your family’s future in your pocket?” This documentary narrated and co-produced by the star of Y Tu Mamá También and The Motorcycle Diaries concerns someone who took that bet and lost: an unidentified man found in Arizona’s Sonora Desert, identified only by the tattoo “Dayani Cristal” emblazoned on his chest.
Directed by Marc Silver, the doc restages the man’s journey with Garcia Bernal as re-enactor — a route that leads the filmmakers to the man’s family, as well as a perilous route from Honduras to the U.S. that frequently ends in a crowded morgue with a specially marked bin for skulls. The film shows tonight at The Belcourt on a double bill with the short “The Mayor,” which details how the friendship between Paul Bridges, the Republican mayor of Uvalda, Ga., and the Mexican family next door led him to legally challenge Georgia’s 2011 illegal-immigration enforcement act.
Bridges will be on hand, as will “The Mayor” director Theo Rigby, Dayani Cristal director Silver, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker and other guests. Presenters include Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition and Active Voice. Admission is free, but you have to RSVP for a ticket here.