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 film was originally shot for TV to premiere on PBS in 1983. But after an overwhelmingly positive reception at the Telluride Film Festival, the producers of American Playhouse decided to give the film a theatrical release and delayed the PBS TV-premiere for two years. See more
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
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.
Written by Gerardo Tamez
Performed by LOS FOLKLORISTAS See more