Entertainment » Movies

Review: 'Entre Nos' a Perfect Example of What Great Independent Cinema Can Look Like

by Michael  Cox
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Apr 13, 2021
Review: 'Entre Nos' a Perfect Example of What Great Independent Cinema Can Look Like

Many filmmakers claim to make movies that are based on a true story, but few filmmakers are able to pull off a film that feels genuinely authentic. "Entre Nos" is an rare exception. Crafted with mostly non-professional actors and no celebrities (except for Sarita Choudhury in a small supporting role), this 2009 drama was shot on location, with a small budget on the streets of New York, and is perfect example of what great independent cinema can look like.

Co-written and co-directed by the Columbian-American filmmakers Paola Mendoza and Gloria La Morte, the story is startlingly simple, but always engaging and surprisingly eye-opening. Most remarkably, it's filled with great hope in the face of crushing despair.

Mariana (played by Mendoza herself) brings her two small children Gabriel (Sebastian Villada Lopez) and Andrea (Laura Montana Cortez) to the United States from Columbia to live with her husband. Within days she finds herself abandon once again. This time her husband says he has found work in Miami and will send for her later, but she soon loses contact with him and realizes he is gone forever.

Undocumented, with no support system or means of finding one, and with $50 to her name, Mariana must piece together a life. She immediately attempts to sell homemade empanadas on the street, with no success. She then looks for work, but there is competition for undocumented work and she soon learns the dangers of leaving her children alone during the day.

After days of going hungry and nights of living on the street, she finds an occupation that the whole family can do together. They pick bottles and aluminum soda cans out of alley trash bins and turn them in for a refund. Through this meager subsistence they carry on from one day to the next, until Mariana discovers that her husband may have left her saddled with one more surprise.

The story of "rags to riches" is one of the most common in the American cinema, tale of going from nothing to great fame and epic fortune, but there is an even more satisfying story, the story of "just a little bit better," the story of those who face overwhelming odds and simply persist in this world with courage and integrity.

This DVD release from IndiePix includes a special feature--Mendoza and La Morte teach us how to make empanadas. After watching this, I went strait into the kitchen and made them that night. You won't be disappointed.

"Entre Nos" comes to DVD April 13.

Comments on Facebook