In Entre Nos, from Colombian filmmakers Paola Mendoza and Gloria La Morte, Mariana (the impressive Mendoza, making a turn as writer/director/star) is faced with caring for her two young children alone on the streets of New York after her husband moves to Miami alone and abandons the family. Knowing that this story was inspired by true events involving Mendoza’s own mother only makes the heart-wrenching story all the more painful. Early into the film, when Mariana’s daughter Andrea tells her “You’re not funny anymore,” it’s only the beginning of a sequence of heartbreaks for our heroine.

She goes on to collect cans, clean dishes, and anything else she can do to earn a little bit of money in order to support herself and her two children.  Mendoza manages to portray Mariana with a sense of strength, determination, and fragility throughout the film, which makes the difficult situation she faces all the more poignant. Parts of the movie could come off as overdone, but Mendoza and La Morte work hard to create a sense of reality in the world they have created – from the dirtiness of the streets to the small apartments to the relationships between mother and children and the tough decisions Mariana is faced with.

Among other things, Entre Nos won Honorable Mention at Tribeca and Best of Fest at Ft. Lauderdale and also made it onto Michael Moore’s list of the 20 best films of 2009. With the engaging script, well-done editing, and convincing acting, it’s very clear why the film earned so many accolades. It celebrates determination, dedication to family, and the American dream and asks for empathy for immigrants and their families. A PSA on immigration reform is included on the disc and drives home the central themes of the film.

Zach’s Rating: A-
Perfect For: Anyone looking for an inspiring and well-made film
Stay Away if: You like films to take you out of the real world, not put you deeper into it

To purchase Entre Nos, visit Amazon

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