El Norte Critical Analysis

2239 Words Sep 19th, 2012 9 Pages
Eva Cooper
July 16, 2012.
El Norte
Critical Analysis

El Norte is an American independent film about a Guatemalan family. The film, directed by Gregory Nava, was first released at the Telluride Film Festival in 1983. El Norte was the first American independent film to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay (IMDb.com, Inc., 1990-2012). The film El Norte is about a brother named Enrique and a sister named Rosa. Enrique and Rosa are on a quest to get out of the ethnic and political repressed Guatemala and attempt to escape to the North where they can live the “American dream.” Will Enrique and Rosa live the “American dream” once they escape to the North? Can an illegal immigrant achieve the “American dream?” The answers to
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This structure depicts the economic exploitation of one Hispanic by another. At first Enrique and Rosa do not see, as illegal immigrants, it is nearly impossible to be free. Enrique and Rosa might be safer living in America than in Guatemala, but as an illegal immigrant they will never reap the benefits American citizens have.
The film expresses the loss of social relations and traditions of Enrique and Rosa’s Indian culture in Los Angeles. The movie portrays Enrique and Rosa as good and the Mexicans or Chicanos as evil. Is this good versus evil portal accurate? The Coyotes, the Chicanos, and Enrique and Rosa are all making decisions due to economic factors and their social status. Yes, Enrique and Rosa come from a strong Indian culture but they are breaking the law by illegally coming to America. The Coyotes seem to have no loyalty but they have limited options to make money and have no understanding of the importance of family and community. The director, Nava, introduces each episode in short segments that may limit the viewer’s opportunity to reflect upon the social reality of Guatemala, Tijuana, and the economic opportunity of an illegal immigrant in the United States. Can Enrique and Rosa obtain the same economic freedom as American citizens? Throughout the film there is an idea of the North as being the promise land. In the first and second episode of the film the north seems of nothing but happiness. In
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