The search for belonging and the significance of place and family inform Gregory Nava’s and Anna Thomas’s lyrical and emotionally powerful El Norte. One of the first films to portray faithfully the plight of Central American political refugees, El Norte is a remarkable fusion of documentary realism and visual poetry.
When a group of Mayan Indians decides to organize a labor union to improve conditions in their village, their community is torn apart by the Guatemalan army. Brother and sister, Rosa and Enrique manage to escape the devastation and decide to carve out new paths in El Norte — the USA. The film follows the siblings’ journey through Mexico, where they encounter hardship and struggle, forming what is a powerful showcase of immigrant life.