Peasants, tired of beingnothing more than manual laborers, are discovered by the Guatemalan army. After the army destroys their village, a brother and sister, decide they must flee el Norte. After receiving help from friends and advice from a veteran immigrant on strategies for traveling, they make their way to Los Angeles.Written by
Ed Cannon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1995. See more »
In the final scenes with Enrique on the construction site, the foreman is seen watching Enrique. In a medium shot, he is carrying a rule or spirit level in his left hand as he looks at Enrique. In the next shot, with Enrique in the foreground, the foreman is empty handed. 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.
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I saw El Norte (The North) some years ago when my then girlfriend (whose father was from Mexico) rented the video and made me watch it. I'm glad she did. It covers the very basic quest story of a brother and a sister who flee Guatemala (where the indigenous population was being exterminated) through Mexico to try and find a new life in the US. Along the way they encounter all the setbacks you would imagine, including a few you don't expect. This is a serious and dramatic film that is also not afraid to find the humor that can still occur in the midst of deep struggle.
I understand that this movie was made on a shoestring and at times it shows. But the story and the acting more than carry the day. Its creative team (Gregory Nava and his wife Anna Thomas) are also responsible for the movies Selena and Mi Familia (among others), both excellent films. I think that the real history of most people living on the earth, who live ordinary lives and struggle against sometimes oppressive forces outside their control, has largely gone unwritten. In its own small way, this movie begins to make up the deficit.
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