El Norte (The North) El Norte (1983) • Gregory Nava, director and writer. • Anna Thomas, producer and Nava’s wife. • Nominated for Best Screen Play. • In 1995, El Norte became part of the film list of the Library of Congress. Summary Part I: “Arturo Xuncan” •Takes Place in Guatemala. •Nava superficially touched upon the civil war in Guatemala. •The indigenous people are trying to take back their lands from the hands of the rich. •Arturo, father of the protagonists, is captured and killed. •Enrique and Rosa leave to avoid persecution. •Rosa is forced to leave her culture behind to find a new one in the U.S. Part II: El Coyote •Takes place in Mexico specifically in Tijuana. •Enrique and Rosa are taken advantage of by two coyotes: Carlos and Raimundo. •Once caught by immigration, which is portrayed as incompetent the protagonists are sent back to Tijuana instead of Guatemala. •We also see the interactions between Mexicans and other Hispanics. Indians have no respect in either culture. •In their second attempt to cross the border, they are attacked by rats. •The scene ends by Rosa and Enrique over looking San Diego Part III: The North •Most of the film’s time is in the U.S. in Los Angeles, CA •The scene opens with Rosa and Enrique been “sold” to Don Monte, who will find them jobs and collect part of their pay for the rent. •Rosa ends working cleaning houses. •Enrique finds a job working in a reputable restaurant, where he is promoted to waiters’ assistant. •Rosa contracts typhus. •Either in Guatemala or U.S. the protagonists still found oppression. El Norte: Points of Views • El Norte is not a direct political film. It falls in the category of socially reflective film. • However, it does criticize the U.S. way of regulating immigration. Jorge: “The migra does not show up just because their balls itch.” • The film appeals to the audience’s emotions by focusing on the struggle of the two protagonists. Critics believe that Nava used their stories as away to create tolerance towards illegal immigrants. So, they can be allowed to stay in the U.S. El Norte: Points of Views • On the other hand, illegal immigrants in the U.S. are able to identify with the protagonists and their struggles. It creates awareness of their situation in a foreign country. It gives immigrants a voice. El Norte • Gregory Nava failed in giving more explanation of the Guatemalan conflict during the 1970s1980s. • For many immigrants the U.S. provides them with an escapade for their oppression. • Don Monte: “We are talking about survival.” El Norte • Rosa in her death bed tells Enrique: “We are not free…Yes life is difficult here…In our land, we have no home. They want to kill us. There is no home for us there. In Mexico there is only poverty. We cannot make a home there either. And here in the north, we are not accepted.” – She summarizes what many Guatemalans went through the 1970s-1980s. – Some say that El Norte is an attempt to create a modern version of the Mayan myth of the twin brothers, who had to travel to the underworld, and Homer’s Odyssey. Conclusion • Gregory Nava accomplished to created a film for immigrants. Also, provide the American audience with an insight to the struggles of illegal immigrants. Even though, they have broken the law and should be held responsible for it, their actions are a cry for help.