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El Norte

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Overview

El Norte is a realistic picture of both the Guatemalan government's oppression of the Quiche Indians and the hard life of illegal immigrants in the United States. After the Guatemalan army destroys their village of San Pedro, two teenage Quiche Mayan Indian siblings journey north (hence El Norte) through Mexico to the United States to start a new life. The film opens with the destruction of the village and the peasants' pointless appeals to the authorities for justice. Realizing that the government is seizing ...
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Overview

El Norte is a realistic picture of both the Guatemalan government's oppression of the Quiche Indians and the hard life of illegal immigrants in the United States. After the Guatemalan army destroys their village of San Pedro, two teenage Quiche Mayan Indian siblings journey north (hence El Norte) through Mexico to the United States to start a new life. The film opens with the destruction of the village and the peasants' pointless appeals to the authorities for justice. Realizing that the government is seizing their land, Enrique and Rosa make the difficult decision to leave their people behind. As they journey through Mexico, the siblings encounter a number of helpful individuals who direct them towards the U.S./Mexican border. There they find a "coyote" (a professional human smuggler) and make the frightening run across border. Once across, Enrique and Rosa are introduced to the impossible realities of life as an illegal immigrant in Los Angeles. Living in constant fear of deportation, they struggle to survive as they are exploited by a series of employers. Eventually, their luck takes a turn for the better when the manager of their motel offers Enrique a job.
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Special Features

Disc One: ; New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Gregory Nava; New audio commentary featuring Nava; Theatrical trailer; New and improved English subtitle translation; ; Disc Two: ; In the Service of Shadows: The Making of "El Norte"; The Journal of Diego Rodriguez Silva; Gallery of Chiapas location-scouting photographs; Plus: A booklet featuring a new essay by novelist Héctor Tobar and critic Roger Ebert's 1983 review
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
While any number of films have been made about plucky immigrants who come to the United States, few possess the plain-spoken honesty and simple emotional power of Gregory Nava's El Norte, at once a moving testimony to the thirst for freedom and a sobering look at the tragic consequences that the search for a better life can sometimes bring. Director Nava draws strikingly naturalistic performances from his entire cast (especially Zaide Silvia Gutierrez and David Villalpando), and his eloquently straightforward narrative style tells this story with few frills but a remarkable emotional impact. Blending humor, drama, suspense, and eventually tragedy, there are few films that say more about what America truly means than El Norte, which shows (for good and ill) how important this country is to those who left the land of their birth to live in this nation of immigrants.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/20/2009
  • UPC: 715515034722
  • Original Release: 1983
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Special Edition / Wide Screen
  • Language: Español
  • Time: 2:20:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 18,484

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Zaide Silvia Gutierrez Rosa Xuncax
David Villalpando Enrique Xuncax
Ernesto Gómez Cruz Arturo Xuncax
Alicia del Lago Lupe Xuncax
Eraclio Zepeda Pedro
Stella Quan Josefita
Emilio del Haro Truck Driver
Rodrigo Puebla Puma
Trinidad Silva Monty
Abel Franco Raimundo
Mike Gomez Jaime
Lupe Ontiveros Nacha
Larry Cedar Bruce
Sheryl Bernstein Karen
Tony Plana Carlos
Diane Civita Alice
Jorge Moreno Man in Bus
Rodolfo Aleiandre Ramon
Enrique J. Castillo Jorge
Ronald G. Joseph Joel
John L. Martin Ed
Technical Credits
Gregory Nava Director, Screenwriter
Betsy Blankett Editor
James Glennon Cinematographer
Anna Thomas Producer, Screenwriter
David Wasco Set Decoration/Design
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- El Norte: Feature Film
1. Part One: Arturo Zuncax [4:39]
2. Evening in San Pedro [7:54]
3. Meeting at the Old Hacienda [4:25]
4. "On Earth in Passing" [2:42]
5. Rosa Senses Trouble [6:29]
6. Seeking Guidance [5:44]
7. Preparations [3:34]
8. Night Flight [3:41]
9. Part Two: El Coyote [6:01]
10. "Lost City" [6:26]
11. Jaime, the Coyote [5:02]
12. Finding Raimundo [5:11]
13. Crossing the Border [5:10]
14. End in Sight [7:13]
15. Part Three: The North [:02]
16. First Day on the Job [3:58]
17. Koreans, Chicanos, and Gringos [5:17]
18. "Electronic Fabric Care" [5:52]
19. Ricky's Promotion [6:45]
20. Opportunity Knocks [4:48]
21. "You Can Be Legal" [2:32]
22. Evil Ways [4:48]
23. La Migra [3:22]
24. Enrique Reconsiders [5:26]
25. "We Have No Home" [5:24]
26. Strong Arms [8:20]
27. Color Bars [9:49]
Disc #2 -- El Norte: The Supplements
1. "We Have to Make This Movie" [7:22]
2. Finding Rosa and Enrique [5:07]
3. Chiapas for Guatemala [4:07]
4. A Skeleton Crew [4:35]
5. Machetes, Guns, and Money [9:14]
6. Piecing It Together [5:20]
7. The Border Crossing [6:11]
8. "Two Mexicans With No Papers" [7:09]
9. "The One-Pound Garbanzo" [8:35]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- El Norte: Feature Film
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
   Commentary
      On: Director and Co-Writer Gregory Nava Recorded the Following Audio Commentary for the Criterion Collection. To Listen to the Commentary While Viewing the Movie, Press the Audio Key on Your Remote at Any Time.
      Off: Director and Co-Writer Gregory Nava Recorded the Following Audio Commentary for the Criterion Collection. To Listen to the Commentary While Viewing the Movie, Press the Audio Key on Your Remote at Any Time.
   Trailer
   Subtitles
      On
      Sdh
      Off
Disc #2 -- El Norte: The Supplements
   In the Service of the Shadows: The Making of El Norte
      Play
      Index
   Scouting in Chiapas
   The Journal of Diego Rodriguez Silva
      Introduction by Nava
      Play
   Subtitles
      On
      Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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