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El Norte (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on April 8, 2005

There was a time when I considered this my favorite movie.  That was when I hadn’t seen a lot of movies, and especially not a lot of foreign language movies (in fact, this might have been my first… I saw it in high school Spanish class).  Since then I’ve been exposed to many great films, so this isn’t #1 any more.  But I still have a soft spot for it.  The two lead actors project such sweetness and innocence and sibling love that it is truly heartbreaking to watch their spirits gradually get crushed.  This is a bitter and moving look at the empty promise of the “American dream.”  It’s not especially subtle or sophisticated, and maybe somewhat manipulative, but it always touches me.  The music is also wonderful (except perhaps for the over-reliance on Barber’s “Adagio for Strings”).  I wish this would come out on DVD.  Rating: 10


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