Cruzando is a film that explores the relatively sweeter side of coming to America. This is in contrast to recent fare lilke the brutally arresting Sin Nombre which explores the darker, deadlier side of the danger Central American immigrants face. In Cruzando provides a balanced look at a very specific reason for which someone would choose (or be forced) to visit the U.S.
Meme is a young man who has grown up without his father. His vague recollections of time spent with the man are just that: vague. He knows that his father left to make a better life for himself--but Meme was forgotten along the way. Flash forward a couple of decades and his father now facing execution in a Texas prison. Word get to Meme; and he is forced to make a life-changing decision.
The catch is that Meme is now facing fatherhood himself. He must decide whether witnessing the death of the man who abandoned him is more important that being present for the birth of the son he is now abandoning. What ensues is a harrowing tale determination, the will to persevere and friendship--as Meme brings his best pal Diego along for moral support (and comic relief for the audience.)
Cruzando ultimately feels a litte bit empty as it lacks a well-known cast and a broader, more epic scope. But the story itself is one that should be played intimately--and in that regard, the film succeeds briliantly. It showcases the hardships faced by the less-fortunate immigrants without implying that these are hardships which the immigrants are too cowardly to own-up to. Eventually, the man's decision is redeemed by a return to what is truly important to all of us. Home.