Where the Tracks End (El Último Vagón), get schooled in Mexico

Adriana Barraza and Kaarlo Isaac in Where the Tracks End

Where the Tracks End (El Último Vagón) tells a heartwarming story from Mexico about education, family, and the value of a good book. It stars Adriana Barraza as a teacher in an impoverished Mexican village near a railroad line being built.

Kaarlo Isaac in Where the Tracks End

Where the Tracks End (El Último Vagón) also stars young Kaarlo Isaac as Ikal, the new kid in town. His dad works building the railroad. They travel all the time, with a home in a railroad car. Ikal has never been to school.

When the railroad workers get to town, Ikal meets several kids and befriends a dog. The kids take him to meet Miss Georgina, the teacher, played with tender care by Adriana Barraza. She is determined Ikal will learn to read.

I’m not able to give you the names of many of the actors in this movie. IMDb has very sparse information about the cast. Many of the actors playing Ikal’s friends and his parents are not provided with their character’s names accompanying them, so I’m not sure who is who.

Frida Sofia Cruz Salinas in Where the Tracks End

One character who I can name is Valeria (Frida Sofia Cruz Salinas). Ikal and Valeria become very good friends in a relationship that is important to the ending twists in the story.

A class picture of the students and their teacher in Where the Tracks End

The story is true to life, with joys and sorrows in equal measure. The characters and situations feel very realistic. A subplot in the film involves a man who works for the education department who has the horrible job of going from small village to small village and telling teachers the funding for their schools is being stopped.

Miss Georgina is a effective and wonderful teacher. All the kids love her. Ikal is especially thrilled to learn to read and declares that he wants to be a teacher when he grows up.

I found this film beautiful and warm and full of love. I liked the way the characters treated each other and the reverence for a good book that tied the story together. It’s streaming on Netflix. I highly recommend watching it.

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