El Norte

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Released 1983

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Movie Summary

Director:
Gregory Nava
Released:
1983
Rating:
R
Written and directed by Greogry Nava, El Norte is the 1983 film that tells the story of a brother and a sister as they flee Guatemala after the nationalist army destroys their village. Enrique Xucax (David Villalpando) and Rosa Xuncax (Zalde Silvia Gutierrez) decide to leave their village and their friends behind and make their way North through Mexico to reach the United States. Once they reach the border, they are put in contact with a "coyote" that smuggles them across the border. The journey is rough, and both become violently ill after making their way through a sewage tunnel. When they finally reach the United States, their realized dream is not quite as they hoped. Employers are quick to take advantage of them for they know they could be deported at any moment. Through their own determination, however, Enrique and Rosa persevere until they find their place in the North. El Norte was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1985.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    This is the first film to approach the subject of "undocumented workers" solely through their eyes. This is not one of those docudramas where we half-expect a test at the end, but ...

  • 80

    TV Guide Frank Lovece

    An effective and moving drama about the strength of the human spirit and the will to survive.

  • 70

    Variety

    Comes across as a kind of giant Renaissance canvas.

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    Themes

    Thrillers, Foreign Language, 80s