“El Norte ” was the first independent film to receive an Academy Award nomination. Now, 35 years after its 1984 debut, the National Film Registry-listed movie will return to theaters.
ABC News reported on Thursday (September 12) that the film will be shown in more than 200 movie theaters around the country for one day only—September 15—to mark the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month. The screenings are part of a collaboration between Fathom Events and Lionsgate.
“The message of the film is more relevant and more needed today than it was 35 years ago when it was originally released,” “El Norte” director and co-writer Gregory Nava (“Selena”) told Deadline. “The situation is still so tragic on our southern border with refugees, and look at the events in El Paso.”
The revival will give a new generation the opportunity to experience the dramatic story of a Guatemalan brother and sister who are forced to flee their home and embark on a treacherous journey to the United States after their family is killed in a massacre. “For people to watch the epic journey of Rosa and Enrique and what they really go through to come to the United States seeking a better life in the face of violence, I mean anybody would make that choice, wouldn’t they?” Nava said in the Deadline interview. “People have a right to save their lives and the lives of their families.”
Nava also noted the changes that have occurred in the three decades since “El Norte” premiered. “The film was released in 1984 and the U.S. government gave the protective status in 1986 that legalized 2 million immigrants. But all that compassion has gone away now and it’s been replaced by policies of cruelty,” Nava said. “You see what’s happening on the southern border with families being ripped apart and children put in cages, and now people murdered in El Paso simply because they’re Latino. The message of this film is needed much more today actually than when we made it 35 years ago.”
Click here to find a screening near you, and watch the trailer for the revival below: