The First Latin Indie Masterpiece

Certain movies never get old. Some, like Beaches, I’m kind of embarrassed to say I’ve watched at least 150 times (including this past weekend with my friend Miranda). El Norte, from acclaimed director Gregory Nava (My Family, Selena), isn’t exactly the type of film I’d watch that many times, but it’s just one of those flicks you own if you’re Latin. The story of Mayan siblings Enrique and Rosa Xuncax, who flee Guatemala escaping military persecution and embark on a harrowing journey in search of the American Dream, is being re-released today. Known as Nava’s masterpiece, El Norte was one of the first films to treat the issue of illegal immigration in a humane and intimate light and in 1996, it was named an “American Classic” by the Library of Congress.

Some of the features on the newly restored 25th anniversary DVD release by Criterion Collection include:

• New Director’s Commentary with Gregory Nava.
• Featurette: The Making of El Norte, new high-def interviews with Nava and co-writer/producer Anna Thomas as well as actors Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez and David Villalpando and art director David Wasco.
The Border Wall, a new short documentary by Nava and Barbara Martinez Jitner.
• Scouting in Chiapas Photo Gallery.