MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 10,588 this week

El Norte (1983)

7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 3,422 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 45 user | 25 critic | 5 from Metacritic.com

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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(story),
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: February

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in February.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 42 titles
created 26 Sep 2011
 
a list of 26 titles
created 17 Jan 2013
 
a list of 48 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 36 titles
created 1 month ago
 
a list of 27 titles
created 2 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Search for "El Norte" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: El Norte (1983)

El Norte (1983) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of El Norte.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Alambrista! (1977)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After the birth of his first child, Roberto, a young Mexican man slips across the border into the United States. Seeking work to support his family back home, he finds that working hard is not enough.

Director: Robert M. Young
Stars: Domingo Ambriz, Trinidad Silva, Linda Gillen
Ilegales (2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Tells the stories of a group of people in Ciudad de Juarez with one thing in common: they are all looking for a better life for them and their families. For many, that better life waits just a short walk away in the United States.

Director: Ric Dupont
Stars: Shirley Rumierk, Luis Bordonada, Omar Leyva
Man Push Cart (2005)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A night in the life of a former Pakistani rock star who now sells coffee from his push cart on the streets of Manhattan.

Director: Ramin Bahrani
Stars: Ahmad Razvi, Leticia Dolera, Charles Daniel Sandoval
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Welcome to America. The U.S. government has mandated the construction of a 2,000-mile long wall along the U.S./Mexico border and many Americans sport bumper stickers on their vehicles with ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew James
Stars: Brenda Acosta, Guy Adams, Merced Arcei
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A documentary about a pet cemetery in California, and the people who have pets buried there.

Director: Errol Morris
Stars: Lucille Billingsley, Zella Graham, Cal Harberts
L'argent (1983)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A forged 500-franc note is cynically passed from person to person and shop to shop, until it falls into the hands of a genuine innocent who doesn't see it for what it is - which will have ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Christian Patey, Sylvie Van den Elsen, Michel Briguet
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Three women, all strangers to each other, meet in a dress boutique. One of the three is approached by the male proprietor as she is shoplifting a garment. When he approaches her the other ... See full summary »

Director: Marleen Gorris
Stars: Edda Barends, Nelly Frijda, Henriëtte Tol
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Shortly after WWII an American soldier (Norman) and a Polish refugee (Emilia) fall in deep love. Eventually he will return to USA and both expect that she will soon follow him. Emilia's ... See full summary »

Director: Krzysztof Zanussi
Stars: Maja Komorowska, Scott Wilson, Hanna Skarzanka
My Family (1995)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Traces over three generations an immigrant family's trials, tribulations, tragedies, and triumphs. Maria and Jose, the first generation, come to Los Angeles, meet, marry, face deportation ... See full summary »

Director: Gregory Nava
Stars: Jimmy Smits, Esai Morales, Edward James Olmos
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Billy Woodberry
Stars: Nate Hardman, Kaycee Moore, Angela Burnett
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
Director: Gregory Nava
Stars: William Bryan, Michael St. John, Richard Harding Gardner
Utu (1984)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In New Zealand in the 1860s the native Maori people fought the British colonials to keep the land guaranteed to them by treaty. The warrior Te Wheke fights for the British until betrayal ... See full summary »

Director: Geoff Murphy
Stars: Anzac Wallace, Bruno Lawrence, Tim Elliott
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ernesto Gómez Cruz ...
Arturo
...
Enrique
Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez ...
Rosa
Alicia del Lago ...
Lupe
...
Informer
Jose Martin Ruano ...
Foreman
Stella Quan ...
Josefita
Heraclio Zepeda ...
Pedro (as Eraclio Zapeda)
Emilio Gomez Ozuna ...
Luis
Daniel Lemus Valenzuela ...
Encarnacion
Rodrigo Puebla ...
El Puma the Soldier
Yosahandi Navarrete Quan ...
Josefita's Daughter
Rodolfo De Alexandre ...
Ramon
Emilio Del Haro ...
Truck Driver
Jorge Moreno ...
Old Man on Bus
Edit

Storyline

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, and undocumented immigrants. Written by Ed Cannon <ecannon@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The magical film that reveals the world between the dream and the reality


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

27 January 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Au nord le paradis  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Rosa dies, Enrique cries and hugs her with his head on her chest. A closeup shows Rosa's hand on her stomach. The next, longer shot shows her hand is at the top of her thigh. See more »

Quotes

Enrique's friend: You have to learn to talk like a Mexican. Tell me it's a hot day.
Enrique Xuncax: It's a hot day.
Enrique's friend: 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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Life Itself (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Emperor Waltz
Written by Johann Strauß
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Faithfully mirrors the fear and uncertainty of illegal immigrants
9 August 2004 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

In the 1980s, military repression and civil warfare intensified in both Guatemala and El Salvador, resulting in massacres, forced displacement, and political assassinations. Thousands left Central America to come to America, most of them illegally. Those who entered the U.S. filed for political asylum but despite the reports of murders and disappearances, barely three percent of applicants received asylum. Today, approximately half of Salvadorans and Guatemalans living in the U.S. have less than an eighth grade education and most work long hours in jobs on the low end of the pay scale and their situation makes it nearly impossible to advance or make long term plans.

Gregory Nava's 1983 Indie film El Norte describes the plight of two young Guatemalans, Enrique (David Villalpando) and his sister Rosa (Zaide Silvia Gutierrez) who face reprisals from the military after participating in a protest meeting and undertake a hazardous journey to "the north" to find a better life. The film is divided into three parts: "Arturo Xuncax", describing the circumstances that caused the family to leave Guatemala "El Coyote", detailing their hazardous journey to reach the U.S., and "El Norte", telling the story of their life in Los Angeles. While El Norte does have a strong political message, the core of the film is the relationship between Enrique and Rosa.

The hardships of the journey are told in graphic detail, especially the last test of crossing the border by crawling on their hands and knees through an abandoned sewer line populated by hordes of rats. Things seem to be bright, however, when they arrive in Los Angeles. He becomes a busboy in an upscale restaurant, she finds work as a maid in Beverly Hills, and both try to learn English in their free time. They soon find, however, that life in the U.S. is not all that it appears and their situation unravels when Enrique is reported to INS officials by a jealous employee. El Norte wears its heart on its sleeve and the film tends toward the melodramatic, but it faithfully mirrors the fear and uncertainty that illegal immigrants face each day and I can forgive its flaws and applaud the loving bond between brother and sister and the strength it produces in their lives.


21 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD of El Norte coming Elnortefan
Meaning of the final scene? ladynata
Crossing the border-who helps them?? redvespagirl
When... when will it hit DVD? paulvinny
Where to buy? cody_gaffney
those two old ladies gman93189
Discuss El Norte (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?