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El Norte (1983)

R  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Thriller  |  27 January 1984 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 3,572 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 46 user | 25 critic | 5 from Metacritic.com

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 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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
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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 | Add 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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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Coincidentally, both David Villalpando and Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez; who play brother and sister to each another, were born almost exactly ten months apart. Gutiérrez, like her character, is the younger. 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

Border patrol officer 1: [to Enrique and Rosa in Spanish] Do you know how to read and write?
Rosa Xuncax: [to Enrique in Mayan] Why does he want to know that?
Enrique Xuncax: [to Rosa in Mayan] I don't know, but I think it's a trick. We'd better lie.
Border patrol officer 2: What are they saying?
Border patrol officer 1: I don't know. They're not speaking Spanish. They must be speaking some kind of Indian language.
Border patrol officer 2: Well, what the fuck good are you?
Enrique Xuncax: [to the officer in Spanish] No, we can't read or write.
Border patrol officer 1: They don't know how to read and write.
Border patrol officer 2: Well, that's some great system you got there.
Border patrol officer 1: Okay.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Coming to America--the untold chapter
11 April 2000 | by (Pasadena, CA) – See all my reviews

Gregory Nava's drama, "El Norte," is hands-down the best film ever made about the Latin American immigrant experience in the US. It's also one of the best films of the 80's.

Wonderfully acted and expertly directed, this film will make you think twice about the "invisible" people who clean your house, watch your kids, make your food, garden your yard, wash your car, etc. This movie puts a face to those people and their day-to-day struggles here in this country. It's not always a pretty picture.

Although this film is fictional, at times it feels like a documentary. It's not a documentary however, because it's also quite funny and it contains elements of magical realism.

This film is a landmark of Latino filmmaking in the US. Watch it today!


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

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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
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