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film: The North

“The North” tells us the harrowing story of Enrique (David Villalpando) and his sister Rosa (Zaide Silvia Gutierrez) a peasant siblings from San Pablo, Guatemala.

The movie starts showing the breathtaking landscape of San Pablo, and a life with dignity of locals in a peaceful and communal environment. This harmony is suddenly broken by a tremendous onslaught carried out by the Guatemala’s military force forcing Enrique and Rosa to flee to the north, a foreign land.

They escaped from their hometown at midnight –as if they were bandits evading justice. On their way to the north, they have to cross Tijuana -Mexico-, and cross the Mexican-American border. In Tijuana, they hid their identity by acting and speaking as Mexicans; their journey was tough. However, crossing the border was a real nightmare. Their hope of better life in the north helped them to face up this situation and emerged unscathed.

Once in the north, new challenges loom their lives: they are undocumented, they find themselves nearly destitute, their hope of better life, freedom, and promised land in the north is so remote, so alien to them. Language barrier hinders Rosa to understand her American employer. Household items -like a modern washing machine that are meant to facilitate people daily life- complicates Rosa adaptation to her new job. A funny moment in this human drama is when Rosa do the laundry as she whould have done in her rural town.

The end of the movie is heartbreaking. Among unemployed latinos in an urban slum, Enrique stands outside a motel hoping to be picked up for a day labor. A truck approches them, and from there a foreman requests shouting: “I need men with strong arms”. Enrique rissing his both arms and waving them speaks out loudly: "I... I, I have strong arms". Sadly, in the north as in their hometown, Enrique is just a pair of strong arms for the riches. Sick at bed of an hospital, Rosa laments: "life is tough here", “We are not free, Enrique”.

Basic Questions:



DATE: To be confirmed soon
TIME: To be confirmed soon
VENUE: SC building, 1st floor, #1011
HOLD BY: Spanish conversation course
ENTRANCE FEE: Free screening
CAPACITY: Limited to 20 students

Film info

DIRECTOR: Gregory Nava
LANGUAGE: Spanish, Quiché with English subtitles
RUNNING TIME: 2h, 21 min
YEAR: 1993

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