Mayan Indian peasants, tired of being thought of as nothing more than "brazos fuertes" ("strong arms", i.e., manual laborers) and organizing in an effort to improve their lot in life, are discovered by the Guatemalan army. After the army destroys their village and family, a brother and sister, teenagers who just barely escaped the massacre, decide they must flee to "El Norte" ("the North", i.e., the USA). After receiving clandestine help from friends and humorous advice from a veteran immigrant on strategies for traveling through Mexico, they make their way by truck, bus and other means to Los Angeles, where they try to make a new life as young, uneducated, and illegal immigrants. Written by
Ed Cannon <email@example.com>
The magical film that reveals the world between the dream and the reality
Did You Know?
The production of the film encountered major problems with Mexican police while shooting on location in Tijuana. According to director Gregory Nava
: "One day, men with machine guns took over the set. I had guns pointed at my head. We were forced to shut down production, bribe our way out of the country, fight to get our costumes back, and start shooting again in California." Nava also recalled that Mexican police kidnapped the film's accountant and held him for ransom, and that his own parents had to pose as tourists to smuggle rolls of exposed film across the U.S. border. Back in California, Nava and his crew had to re-create a movie set of the Mexican shanty town where Rosa and Enrique stay before crossing the border. See more
Whe Rosa and Enrique go through the tunnel, it is high enough for them to crawl on hands and knees, yet they crawl through on their stomaches. See more
You have to learn to talk like a Mexican. Tell me it's a hot day.
It's a hot day.
No! You won't make it two miles past the border. "It's a fucking hot day." Mexicans are always saying fuck. Fuck this, fuck that. Now try it again.
Referenced in Intro by Nava to Journal
Prelude to "La Traviata"
Written Giuseppe Verdi See more