Film Review: El Norte.

Essay by holologUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, February 2004

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Film Review: "El Norte"

The film "El Norte" directed by Gregory Nava in 1983 depicts the turmoil and struggle faced by those who fled to the United States to escape execution by the Guatemalan army. Nava centers the film around a brother and sister pair named Enrique and Rosa who are trying to make it to the United States from Central America. The film is divided into three parts. The first part titled "Arturo" introduces the characters and sets the story up as to why Rosa and Enrique must flee to the United States which was to escape execution by the Guatemalan army for their father's role in organizing a revolt against the government. The second part of the film is titled "Coyote" and shows how Rosa and Enrique get across the United States border which takes two attempts. On the first attempt Rosa and Enrique meet a man named Jaime who says he can get them across the border.

Jaime turns out to be a thief and tries to mug them for their money but is unsuccessful. However, Rosa and Enrique are picked up by the border patrol and have to return to Tijuana. On their second attempt the siblings met up with Raimundo who is friends with someone from their village. Raimundo gets them across the border but they have to crawl through an old sewage tunnel in order to do so. The third and longest part of the film titled "Los Angeles" details the struggles that Rosa and Enrique must go through in order to survive in the United States. Throughout the film Nava emphasizes three key points. The first point being that life as illegal immigrants was much harder than expected. Secondly, Nava points out the difficulty in adapting to a new culture. Lastly, Nava illustrates...