elnorte_posterCine Las Americas Presents:

El Norte

Directed by Gregory Nava
USA/UK, Drama/Adventure/Thriller, 1983
141 min, 35mm, Color
In Spanish, Maya, and English with English subtitles.

June 25, 2009
The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum,
Texas Spirit Theater

1800 North Congress Avenue
Film Organizations Members and Museum Members FREE.
Non-Members, $5.

Cine Las Americas presents a special screening of Gregory Nava's directorial feature film debut EL NORTE. This screening is presented as part of Altered Lives: An Immigration Film Series, a collaborative film exhibition program designed to help tell the story illustrated in the special exhibition, Forgotten Gateway: Coming to America Through Galveston Island, presented by the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum

Altered Lives: An Immigration Film Series, will run from February through June, 2009.



Thursday, February 26:

Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival presents Through Thick and Thin, with a special appearance by Director Sebastian Cordoba.  The documentary follows the extraordinary stories of seven bi-national gay and lesbian couples whose lives are dramatically affected by the current immigration laws.  Cordoba intimately captures integral moments of each of the couples as they struggle to stay together at whatever cost, unfortunately demonstrating that love does not conquer all.

Thursday, March 26:

The VisitorThe Texas State History Museum screens The Visitor (Tom McCarthy, 2008).  Walter, a college professor, travels to New York to attend a conference and returns to finds a Syrian man and his Senegalese girlfriend living in his apartment. The couple has nowhere to go and when Walter reluctantly allows the couple to stay with him they return his kindness by teaching him the exuberant rhythms of the African drum and rekindling his passion for life.

Thursday, April 23:

The ExilesAustin Film Society screens The Exiles (Kent MacKenzie, 1961), a rare treasure from mid-century American independent cinema.  The film surveys 12 hours in the lives of Yvonne, Homer, and Tommy, Native Americans who have left their reservations or small towns to try to survive in Los Angeles. MacKenzie’s use of a documentary shooting style and voice-over narration makes this narrative film amazingly realistic. The characters move around a downtown L.A. that no longer exists – decaying Bunker Hill boarding houses and apartments, Angel’s Flight funicular (for transportation, not tourism), seedy bars and clubs, Hill X overlooking the city and providing a space for drumming, and downtown movie theaters. This is a stunning film that shows emigration from well structured Native American life to the disorder of big-city poverty was as great a leap as any taken by immigrants to the US from other countries.  The screening includes an appearance by special guest Orvie Lee Longhorn (Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Delaware), who  will speak about his own experiences being relocated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Anadarko Agency in Oklahoma in 1957 to San Jose, California.

Thursday, May 28:

Austin Film Festival presents Stories of Borders: Short Films about Immigration, a program of short films about immigration and immigrants, including work by local filmmakers. The program will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers about their films.

Thursday, June 25:

El NorteCine Las Americas presents El Norte, Gregory Nava's directorial feature film debut which tells the story of a brother and sister, Enrique and Rosa Xuncax, who choose to flee their mountain village in Guatemala rather than face military persecution. They embark upon a harrowing journey to a fabled land of plush houses, electric lights, and flush toilets. The land is America: The North.  Together, Enrique and Rosa acquire a small piece of the American dream, though their native Mayan identities are slowly being stripped away. When temptation threatens to destroy their bond, it is their spirit that proves indelible.
Newly restored for its 25th anniversary, this landmark of independent film (which Variety described as the “first American independent epic”) was the first commercial feature film that presented the immigration community in a humane and intimate light, recorded in Mayan, Spanish and English languages. After 25 years it is finally back on the big screen.

"El Norte tells their story with astonishing visual beauty, with unashamed melodrama, with anger leavened by hope. It is a Grapes of Wrath for our time." – Roger Ebert

Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay