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El Norte: film and discussion

October 18, 2014 from 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

El Norte dramatically depicts the experience of two young, indigenous Guatemalans fleeing from the violent persecutions of the Guatemalan government in the early 1980s. Although Rosa and Enrique, a sister and brother, successfully make their way to Los Angeles through Mexico, it is not without enduring horrific experiences such as the betrayal of their coyote guide. Their struggle to survive in a large, urban city without legal documentation is portrayed with some humorous scenes of cross-cultural communication challenges, but the story is more one of pain and tragedy. The impact of ethnic prejudice, stereotypes and exploitation is persistently portrayed as one type of immigrant experience that tarnishes images of the “American Dream.” Film critic Roger Ebert observed that one of the main characteristics of the film is the way it acknowledges all the political realities of Latin America and yet resists being a "political" film. It tells its story through the eyes of its heroes, and it is one of the rare films that grants Latin Americans full humanity. They are not condescended to, they are not made to symbolize something, they are not glorified, they are simply themselves. El Norte is a 1983 American and British film written and directed by Gregory Nava. It received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay in 1985, the first American independent film to be so honored. In 1995, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."  Suggested donation:  $3 - $5.  Time for discussion after the film.


Event Details

  • Organizer/Sponsor: Institute of World Culture
  • Starts: October 18, 2014 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
  • Price: Suggested donation $3 - $5
  • Location: Institue of World Culture, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
  • Website: http://www.worldculture.org
  • Sponsors: Institute of World Culture