El Norte- FFR

El Norte (1983)- Gregory Nava

Verdict: Try it.

El Norte follows a young brother and sister who flee persecution in Guatemala and hope to find prosperity in America. El Nortre’s greatest strength lies in its two principle actors, Zadie Gutierrez and David Villalpando, who often manage to make you feel like you are watching real people, rather than “actors”.  Director Gregory Nava also often successfully balances  the weight of his film through lighthearted humor and dark realism. And even when El Norte leans on its dramatic style, things often works to the film’s advantage. But this is not always the case.

At several important moments in the film, particularly the ending and one scene involving rats, things get overly sensational. Some moments also feel out of place (not the rat scene in this case). Despite some melodrama, El Norte is an extremely powerful and challenging film. I will definitely watch it again. Try it.

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