Sunday, January 31, 2016

694. El Norte

El Norte
Directed by Gregory Nava

I read a brief plot summary before viewing this film and instantly knew where this story was headed.  Come to think of it, it is rather horrifying that stories like this are so predictable.  I actually liked this movie more than I thought I would, although it can hardly be called a good time at the cinema.

After their father is brutally murdered for trying to start a labor union, Enrique and Rosa flee from Guatemala and try to get to America, where they believe even the poorest people live well.  As we all know, whenever the American dream is mentioned a story, the characters usually end up getting everything they ever wanted and more.

We are subjected to quite a few grisly images in this movie, although I never got the impression it was gratuitous imagery.  The most memorable scene is probably when Enrique and Rosa are crossing the US border via the sewers and face a bit of a rat...situation.  It was particularly disturbing knowing that the lead actress also had a preexisting phobia of rats, meaning her terror was completely genuine.  I am still not sure what I think of the ambiguous ending, although I have a few theories.

Definitely a disturbing film that probably deserves its "must see" title.  Still, I kind of wish I had avoided this one.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

According to Nava, The Mexican police kidnapped the film's accountant and held him for ransom.

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