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Peasants escaping mindless labor and a murderous Guatemalan government head to America in hopes for something better.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ernesto Gómez Cruz ...
Arturo
...
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
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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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

27 January 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Au nord le paradis  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1995. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Jorge: Rosa... it doesn't matter!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Shawshank Redemption (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Raiz Viva
Written by Jose Avila
Performed by LOS FOLKLORISTAS
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User Reviews

 
THE BEST MOVIE MADE
11 December 1998 | by (Long Beach, California) – See all my reviews

This film portrays the plight of 2 illegal immigrants, as they flee to the U.S. from Guatemala. But this movie is much, MUCH more than that. It cuts through all the stereotypes and attitudes the socially and economically privileged harbor against the foreigner. You need not know English or Spanish to understand this movie, because you feel everything so completely through the two main characters.

Anyone with any heart at all will enjoy this movie. With typical latin fatalism, this movie illustrates how people must sometimes bear the unbearable, because they have no other choice.


20 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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