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Entre nos (2009)

 -  Drama  -  25 April 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 676 users  
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A story based on facts which offers a fresh take on the issue of new immigrants in the United States. Mariana totes her two children from Colombia to reunite with her husband in Queens, New... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Sebastian Villada ...
Laura Montana ...
Andres Munar ...
Isabel Sung ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Felipe Bonilla ...
Clem Cheung ...
Mr. Kim
Mi-Sun Choi ...
Ms. Kwong
Sekou Jackson ...
Alexandra Manzano ...
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A story based on facts which offers a fresh take on the issue of new immigrants in the United States. Mariana totes her two children from Colombia to reunite with her husband in Queens, New York. Her life is devastatingly turned around when her husband abandons the family. The woman and her kids have to fend for themselves in a foreign country. Mariana desperately searches for work. In the end, she resourcefully navigates a surprising avenue for making some money, the city's recycling. Written by Warsaw Film Festival

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dysfunctional marriage





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Release Date:

25 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

We Can  »

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Cumbia Callejera
Written by Germaine Franco
Performed by Germaine Franco
Courtesy of Sheba G Music Publishing
Played during Opening Titles
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What is Between Us
6 March 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A mother and her two children move from Columbia to join up with the father in New York. The father abandons them. The mother and children are left alone to struggle and find a way to survive. Simply put, this is the plot of Paola Mendoza's and Gloria La Morte's Entre Nos. Of course, it's not quite that simple. The set design, the costumes that our characters wear, the lighting, and, most importantly the acting renders the film from being just another melodramatic flick to a genuine narrative of a three real people—Mariana, Gabriel, and Andrea—who seek to merely survive and thrive as all people do. As the film begins, there is music and there is food. The characters are in good spirits, for Mariana, Gabriel, Andrea, and Antonio have come together. The scene shows a sense of solidarity amongst the family. As a viewer it causes you to ask, what are they celebrating?" Soon enough, you discover that although this is a time of warm and cheerful feelings, it also proves to be the family's "last supper" together as the father— Antonio—abandons them shortly after. So, to answer the question: the farewell to a deadbeat father and disloyal husband is what they celebrate, ironically. Mendoza uses lighting in this dinner scene that is soft and not overly bright. The warmness is conveyed by the array of green, red, and orange colors adorned by the vegetables. The characters' attires bear these hues as well, and this is meant to symbolize the vivacity of this atmosphere. The music is melodic, it has a steady and "upbeat" tempo to it—the Latin salsa semblance it bears points to perhaps the joy and happiness the characters had in their native Columbia. With this tragic event, Mendoza and Morte demonstrate the overwhelming power that men have over the family. For instance, we see that Antonio's decision to leave his family brings forth disastrous consequences for his wife and children. They suffer emotionally and physically: Mariana weeps along with her children night and day for the emptiness in their hearts that they yearn to be filled. Additionally, they starve to the point where they become emaciated in appearance. They have to roam in the streets to beg for food, looking weathered and withered. So that is to say, they cannot support themselves alone without a man, at least not without tremendous effort. Interestingly, during this period, the interior life is now dark and dank. There is no feeling of coziness like there was at the beginning of the film. In fact, there is few furniture and few things to do. To contrast, the outer world is brighter; there is somewhat more cheer in the streets. As the protagonists collect cans through rubbish dumps and sell empanadas, they interact with Americans by speaking their native Spanish speckled with some English. And this implies the duality of their personalities: they are both Columbian and American. The use of both languages shows their attempt to assimilate. Furthermore, the music at this point marks a moment of reflection and thought for our main characters and also shows them in motion, highlighting their upward progression. All the same, behind the foil of a worthless man the directors emphasize the strength of women. Mariana epitomizes the loving and nurturing nature of a mother: She works diligently to satisfy the demands of her children, she makes sacrifice after sacrifice to see to it that her children are happy. At the same time, she manages to keep a smile before them despite the fact that the world around her is cold and judgmental. The park scene where Mariana weeps quietly with her children sleeping on her lap expresses this notion so well. She had been aborted by society. She suffers miserably, having to fend for her children. Worse yet, because she is poor and appears dirty people ascribe negative things to her and her children. However, Mariana draws strength from her children. Their future and its success motivate her to keep going. She reminds me of the character, Tita, from the novel Como Agua Para Chocolate; for she, too, struggles to maintain and get to where she's going. Most of all, for both women the obstacles they face come from societal origins. Something comes in between them and their hopes and aspirations. For Tita this is represented in her mother who keeps her from love and the pleasures of marriage and for Mariana this is her inability to be understood because of linguistic, financial and cultural barriers. Entre Nos tell us that a family isn't necessarily constituted by a blood-affiliated group. Rather, it is a group who respect one another and struggle together to overcome the challenges. We as a society are a huge family. Yet what stands "between us" is our misunderstandings of one another. Our tendency to prejudge one another renders us incapable of seeing eye to eye on things and prevents us from working together for our own benefit. This is the amazing message behind the movie and for this reason I recommend it without any objections.

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