"Go for Sisters": John Sayles Crosses the Border

Go for Sisters The venerable Greek myth of Orpheus gets another cinematic workout in Go for Sisters, the unmistakably Sayles-esque new film by the great John Sayles. Parole officer Bernice (LisaGay Hamilton) must travel down to Tijuana to find her son Rodney, who's disappeared while dealing with shady characters in the border-crossing trade. She enlists the help of her childhood friend Fontayne (Yolanda Ross), fresh from prison on drug charges and trying to go straight, as well as lovably world-weary ex-cop Freddy (Edward James Olmos, also one of the film's producers). Sayles has always been a deeply humanistic filmmaker, showing a boundless compassion and respect for society's working-class people — in all societies, not just America — and Go for Sisters explores the relationship between Bernice and Fontayne, while also functioning as a tight little crime movie, complete with car chases and gunfights. The picture also considers an angle of the border-crossing trade that's seldom addressed in movies, of smuggling Chinese people from Mexico into America. Olmos, who has somehow never been in a Sayles film before this one in spite of being a natural collaborator, gets to show off his mad electric guitar skills — a perk of being a producer, no doubt, as well as of working with a director like Sayles.

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