• El Norte (1983)

El Norte

Release Date: January 1st, 1983

R |2 hr 19 min

Plot Summary

When a group of Mayan Indians decides to organize a labor union to improve conditions in their village, their community is violently destroyed by the Guatemalan army. Teenage siblings, Rosa (Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez) and Enrique (David Villalpando) manage to escape the massacre and decide to start a new life in El Norte -- the USA. The two trek through Mexico, meeting a variety of characters and facing trials and tribulations on their journey toward lives as illegal immigrants in Los Angeles.

Cast: Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez, David Villalpando, Ernesto Gómez Cruz

Director: Gregory Nava

Genres: Drama

Production Co: American Playhouse

Distributors: Artisan Entertainment

Keywords: Los Angeles, Escape, Underdog, 1980s

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    This is the first film to approach the subject of "undocumented workers" solely through their eyes. This is not one of those docudramas where we half-expect a test at the end, but a film like "The Grapes of Wrath" that gets inside the hearts of its characters and lives with them. show more

  • 80
    The New York Times

    This drama - a kind of cross between ''The Grapes of Wrath'' and the rich textures of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's tales - focuses on two oppressed but hopeful Guatemalan Indians who flee to the United States. show more

  • 80
    Frank LoveceTV Guide Magazine

    An effective and moving drama about the strength of the human spirit and the will to survive. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Nominated Writing (Original Screenplay)